The year is almost over, which means a new year full of new books is about to begin. Before I get to my most anticipated books of 2024, I want to just thank you all for reading my work this year and sending in your fantastic questions to the Advice in The Stacks column. I love getting to think through your bookish dilemmas with you. Please feel free to submit your questions here as we move into 2024.
The list you’re about to read is the books I’m the most excited about for 2024. It’s a lot of nonfiction, but I will say after reading almost exclusively nonfiction this year, I am ready to get back into some fiction. The list is presented in publication order (at the time of this printing). It should also be said that this list skews heavily toward first quarter releases, because most publishers haven’t announced everything that is coming next year. I know that both Britney Griner and Serena Williams are planning to release books in 2024, but I know these things are subject to change, but I for one cannot wait!
Shut Up, This Is Serious by Carolina Ixta (January 9)
I can’t do one of these lists without having a book about my hometown of Oakland,CA represented. This YA novel is Ixta’s debut and was pressed into my hands by another Oaklander, Leila Mottley (Nightcrawling). The book is about two Latina teens growing up in East Oakland who are discovering the complexities and messiness that is life.
Dead in Long Beach, California by Venita Blackburn (January 23)
A book about a sister who starts replying to texts from her dead brother’s phone. I mean, that premise plus the title is enough to get me to read it.
The Holocaust: An Unfinished History by Dan Stone (January 23)
A new look into a moment in world history that has impacted so many moments since. I personally have been fascinated by the Holocaust since I was child and visited the The US Holocaust and Memorial Museum. I look forward to this new perspective from a respected historian.
Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine by Uché Blackstock, MD (January 23)
As a Black woman physician in The United States (only 2% of all doctors in the US), Uché Blackstock has seen and experienced all kinds of racism in the world of medicine, not only the personal attacks, but also the deeply systemic inequalities predicated on race, for both doctors and patients. This book explores the personal and the institutional. I should also add, I have loved her twitter presence over the years, so I’m excited for a little longform from her.
Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar (January 23)
When Clint Smith came on The Stacks this year in April he told me about this novel. He said it was what he was most looking forward to reading, it was at that moment that I started my own most anticipated books of 2024 spreadsheet. Since then, I have heard from many folks who have read advanced copies and loved it. They’re telling me this is the novel of 2024.
School Moms: Parent Activism, Partisan Politics, and the Battle for Public Education by Laura Pappano (January 30)
As a mom getting ready to send my kids off to school, the culture wars playing out in classrooms and at school board meetings across the country have me terrified and intrigued. I’m looking forward to this exploration of activism to fight for and against the rights of our children.
Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir of Surviving India’s Caste System by Yashica Dutt (February 6)
Coming Out as Dalit is a memoir plus, which explores Dutt’s own experiences as part of the discriminated against caste in India, as well as a researched look into how the caste system has touched everything from medicine to entertainment and beyond. Originally published in 2019, this new edition is expanded to include two new chapters.
A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams (February 6)
I swore I would read anything Tia Williams wrote after I devoured Seven Days in June which is still my favorite romance novel. In her latest, A Love Song for Ricki Wilde we’re told we’re getting an NYC romance set against present day Harlem with whispers of the Harlem Renaissance that captures the love, magic, and opportunity of the city. Count me in!
If You See Them: Young, Unhoused, and Alone in America by Vicki Sokolik (February 13)
The cover of this book captured my attention. I have so many questions about what happens to the young people who are unhoused, so I look forward to learning more about this from the founder of Starting Right Now, a nonprofit that helps teens facing homelessness get the resources they need in Florida.
A Map of Future Ruins: On Borders and Belonging by Lauren Markham (February 13)
I read and loved Markham’s debut The Faraway Brothers about two boys immigrating to the US from El Salvador. I was thrilled to hear her long awaited sophomore book was coming in 2024. It is again about immigration but focuses on Greece and the criminalization of immigration there and around the world, and the myth making at play when we talk about immigrants.
A Fire So Wild by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman (February 20)
A debut novel from a member of The Stacks Pack? Hell yes, I am hyped about this one! In A Fire So Wild we follow as a fire creeps toward Bekerely, CA and tensions rise as residents have to face the inequalities they live with.
Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange (February 27)
I’ll be 100% honest, I do not know what this book is about. All I know is that Tommy Orange wrote the hell out of There There and now that he has a new book coming out, I will be reading it.
I Finally Bought Some Jordans by Michael Arceneaux (March 12)
Michael Arceneaux doesn’t know how to not write a smart and hilarious essay collection. His two previous books were fantastic because he knows how to effortlessly weave humor with scathing criticism and specific cultural touchstones. I expect that and more from his latest book.
Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against “the Apocalypse” by Emily Raboteau (March 12)
I couldn’t be more excited for this one. Raboteau writes at the intersections of justice, race, motherhood, and society and this book explores all of these things and more as she looks to protect and provide for her (our) children in an ever scarier world.
The Unclaimed: Abandonment and Hope in the City of Angels by Pamela Prickett and Stefan Timmermans (March 12)
What happens to dead bodies that go unclaimed from the morgue? I have no clue, but in reading The Unclaimed I’m hoping to find out. One of the ways I find books to read is by the suggestions from authors who have been on The Stacks, and this year Roxanna Asgarian (author of my fave We Were Once a Family) tipped me off to a book that sounds exactly like my kind of deep dive into the darkness of city life.
James by Percival Everett (March 19)
Percival Everett is arguably the greatest living American novelist and his next book is a retelling of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as told from the perspective of Jim. That is all you need to know, go preorder this book people.
Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball by Keith O’Brein (March 26)
I am a huge sports person and I really love baseball, but I know next to nothing about baseball’s most foreboding figure, Pete Rose. I know he gambled, I know he was blacklisted, I know he is a taboo topic, but I really don’t know what happened and why. So, this book feels like a must read for me.
There’s Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension by Hanif Abdurraqib (March 26)
Between the author, the cover, and the title, you should have all you need to know about why I want to read this book. I will read Hanif write about anything, but a whole book of Hanif on basketball? We are not worthy.
The Stone Home by Crystal Hana Kim (April 2)
After reading and loving Kim’s debut novel If You Leave Me, I am thrilled to dive into her next book, a work of historical fiction, about a mother and daughter sent to a reformatory in South Korea.
You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World edited by Ada Limón (April 2)
A collection of fifty previously unpublished poems from fifty acclaimed poets writing about their local landscapes. The poems range from national parks to bus stops and help us to think about what a nature poem can be.
Bones Worth Breaking: A Memoir by David Martinez (April 9)
Mixed race brothers Mike and David survived life in Idaho in a Mormon church by sticking together, but eventually their paths diverged which leads to David heading to Brazil for his mission, and Mike ending up in prison. This memoir explores brotherhood, systems of racism and abuse, and the ways that so many young men are able to fall through the cracks.
The Way That Leads Among the Lost: Life, Death, and Hope in Mexico City’s Anexos by Angela Garcia (April 30)
A deeply researched look into anexos, informal drug treatment facilities, of Mexico City. We often hear about Mexican drug cartels, but what draws me to this book is the impact of drugs on some of the most vulnerable people in Mexico City. How those suffering from addiction without an abundance of resources are cared for. The Way That Leads Among the Lost is the first book to be written on anexos, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Another Word for Love: A Memoir by Carvell Wallace (May 14)
I know of Wallace’s work from his fantastic contributions to Andre Iguodala’s memoir The Sixth Man, one of the best sports memoirs I’ve read. When I heard Wallace was writing a memoir of his own, I jumped at the chance to add it to this list. In Another Word for Love Wallace writes about his single mother, poverty, becoming a partner and a parent, and exploring the ways love is let in and held out.
I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: (But I’m Going to Anyway) by Chelsea Devantez (June 4)
I have read this book, well actually I read an early draft of this book, and I loved it. I had Chelsea on The Stacks and we hit it off and she asked me to read the book, and this was before we became friends (this might be why we became friends) and I loved it. I loved it so much that when she told me she basically had to change the entire book (for a reason you’ll hear about in the new book, I’m told) I couldn’t wait to get to experience the whole thing again, in a new way. Long story short, I’m very excited to read this book.
Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi (June 18)
Emezi does not miss. They have written memoir, romance, YA sci-fi, and literary fiction all to critical acclaim. Their newest, Little Rot is pitched as a thrilling novel about friends trying to outrun an underground world, so I’m already in. I do love me some plot, and it sounds like I’ll get my fix here.
The Coin by Yasmin Zaher (July 9)
A novel about a wealthy Palestinian woman living in New York City who gets caught up in a scheme to resell Birkin bags. The book is said to explore the ideas of longing, morality, and selfhood, all of which really excites me.
This Great Hemisphere by Mateo Askaripour (July 9)
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Askaripour’s debut, the novel Black Buck. His follow up, This Great Hemisphere, is a speculative novel about an invisible woman who travels to find her brother who is accused of a high-profile political crime. I’m intrigued by the premise and can’t wait to see what Askaripour does with it.
The Rent Collectors: Exploitation, Murder, and Redemption in Immigrant LA by Jesse Katz (July 16)
Another book about LA, are you sick of me? This one is about a botched gang murder among the LA street vendor community. I am beyond curious to learn more about these undocumented workers, the pressures they’re under, and the systems that exploit their labor.
What If We Get It Right?: Visions of Climate Futures by Ayanna Elizabeth Johnson (July 16)
This book on climate change brings hope to the forefront, and asks us what happens if we act now and get it right? What if the researchers and activists are correct and by helping to change the world we live in now, we can save it for the future?
Colored Television by Danzy Senna (July 30)
When it comes to creating mixed race, Black and white, characters, Danzy Senna is one of the best. The main character in Senna’s novel New People lives rent free in my head. That book with its twists and turns and commentary on mixed people has stuck with me for years. I’m incredibly hopeful for her follow up, Colored Television. The book is about an author in Los Angeles (back on my LA bullshit) trying to write her “Mulatto War and Peace”. In order to reignite her career she turns to TV writing and then things fall apart. I can’t wait.
Bringing Ben Home: A Murder, a Conviction, and the Fight to Redeem American Justice by Barabra Bradley Haggerty (August 6)
I am always so fascinated by the stories of people who are wrongfully convicted of crimes and then spend decades in prison. In this one, Haggerty shares the case of Ben Spencer who, at 22 years old, was convicted of killing a businessman in Texas. The book follows the case, the calls for Ben’s release, and the years-long battle to bring him home.
Bluff: Poems by Danez Smith (August 20)
I have to admit I have never read any of Smith’s poetry, but all the poets I know and love, love Danez Smith, so I have high hopes for Bluff.