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what to read

17 novels we can't wait to read in 2024

From thrillers to historical fiction, we have you covered.

THERE’S SO MUCH great fiction due to be published in 2024, it’s hard to know where to start.

We have separately highlighted the best to come from Irish novelists, but here’s a look at the best international fiction to come – this is just the tip of a very deep iceberg. 

Argylle by Elly Conway (4 January, Bantam Books)

The movie version of Argylle is coming out soon, directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Henry Cavill and Bryce Dallas Howard. This is an epic debut and introduces us to Argylle, a young man who is the only person who can help CIA spymaster Frances Coffey fix the chaos started by a Russian magnate.

Bizarrely, some Taylor Swift fans believe that she wrote this book – without much evidence. But then again, information about the actual Elly Conway is pretty scant…

My Friends by Hisham Matar (11 January, Viking)

From the Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Return comes this novel about Khaled and Mustafa, two Libyan 18-year-olds studying in the UK. One day they travel to London and get involved in an incident at a protest, which forever changes their lives.   

Picasso’s Lovers by Jeanne Mackin (23 January, Headline)

Fans of The Paris Wife and Mrs Hemingway will love this novel, where aspiring journalist Alana Olson interviews Sara Murphy and Irene Legut, who once were part of Picasso’s French social circle. But she’s soon pulled into their stories and gets nearer to the darkness of the past.

Piglet by Lottie Hazell (25 January, Doubleday)

In this intriguing novel, a woman named Piglet learns an awful truth from her fiancée Kit, 13 days before their wedding. To do something about it would be to self-destruct – but it will also cost her to do nothing. So what should she do?

Butter by Asako Yuzuki, translated by Polly Barton (29 February, Fourth Estate)

This is the cult Japanese bestseller inspired by a true story, which is about a female gourmet cook and serial killer – Manaok Kajii – and the journalist – Rika Machida – intent on cracking her case.

Until August by Gabriel García Márquez (12 March, Viking Penguin)

This the rediscovered lost novel by the legendary author and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. Since his death a decade ago, Until August has been hidden in a Texan archive. Now we will finally get to read the story of Ana Magdalena Bach, and find out why every year the happily married woman travels to the island where her mother is buried, and for one night takes a new lover. 

Free Therapy by Rebecca Ivory (14 March, Penguin)

Ivory’s first short story was published while Sally Rooney was editor of the Stinging Fly, meaning we know there’s something special about her work. This is a collection of short stories hinging on characters who know about the language of therapy but can’t act on it, and covers events like teenage girls who enter a destructive competition with one another, and an older man whose buried grief emerges during an altercation with a mother driving a 4×4. 

Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan (4 April, Faber) 

From the Scottish author of the bestselling Mayflies comes what’s described as a state-of-the-nation novel, in which the worlds of a celebrated London professor and his student from a very different background collide.

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio  (4 April, Penguin)

In this, we meet Lauren, who finds a strange man in her flat one night who claims to be her husband. All the evidence suggests he’s right, and Lauren realises her attic is creating an endless supply of husbands for her. So how does she know which one is the right one?

Blue Sisters by Coco Mellors (25 April, Fourth Estate)

Here comes the next novel from the bestselling author of Cleopatra and Frankenstein. 
Blue Sisters is about three exceptional and very different sisters, who return to their
family home in New York after the death of their beloved fourth sister.  

Earth by John Boyne (2 May, Doubleday)

The latest from the author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies is about a young footballer, Evan Keogh, who once worked as a male escort. It’s the second in a series of four novellas by Boyne.

Enlightenment by Sarah Perry (2 May, Penguin)

From the author of the bestselling The Essex Serpent comes a story about Thomas Hart and Grace Macauley, two worshippers at the Bethesda Baptist chapel in the small Essex town of Aldleigh. They’re kindred spirits, but their friendship is threatened by the arrival of love. They’re also both obsessed with the vanished 19th-century female astronomer Maria Veduva, who is said to haunt a nearby manor. 

The Safekeep, Yael van der Wouden, (30 May, Viking)

Set in 1961 in the rural Dutch province of Overijssel, this centres on Isabel, whose life of routine is disrupted when her brother Louis delivers his new girlfriend, Eva, at her doorstep. Isabel grows paranoid about her new guest, and obsessed with Eva.

Gliff by Ali Smith (11 July, Penguin)

Lauded British writer Ali Smith has most recently taken the temperature of her nation with her Seasonal Quartet. Her next book will be called Gliff (Scots for a glance or a sudden glimpse), and is the first of two linked books. The second, in 2025, will be called Glyph, meaning ‘a signifying mark’. Intriguingly, Glyph will tell a story which is hidden in the first. The two books can be read together or independently. In Gliff, a young woman inherits a suitcase from her grandmother, which has the word GLIFF on the luggage tag and contains a mysterious parchment.

Funny Story by Emily Henry (25 April, Penguin)

Fans of romantic comedies will love the latest from Emily Henry, which is about a woman who moves to her ex’s hometown, only for him to dump her for his childhood best friend. The two spurned exes team up and set about making the other pair as jealous as possible. 

Godwin by Joseph O’Neill (6 June, Fourth Estate)

Irish writer Joseph O’Neill returns with his first novel since 2008′s Netherland. Godwin is about two brothers – Mark and Geoff Wolfe – who decide to track down an African teenager Geoff believes could be be the next Messi. 

On Calculation of Volume I and II by Solvej Balle (18 November, Faber)

Now this sounds intriguing – it’s the first two parts in a poetic, philosophical and award-winning septology, by a Danish author. It’s about antique bookseller Tara Selter, who is stuck in a groundhog day: November 18.  

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