Hello, dear readers and happy Tuesday! We don’t say that very much, do we? It’s usually happy Monday or happy Friday, the middle of the week hardly gets any well wishes — maybe because most people are zombie-ing through it.
In true beginning of the year fashion, I’m grappling with a paralysing reading slump. At this point, I just know it won’t go away for a while, so I’ve stopped fighting it.
This means I don’t have a lot of updates on the reading front — personally. But because the world doesn’t revolve around my big head, the show must go on, as they say, so of course the publishers have plenty of material for me to carry on with the weekly column despite my bookish failings.
If you’re new to the Coffee Time Tuesdays column, what you can expect from me (almost) every week is a little reading check-in which usually prompts some reflections on reading habits, expectations, pressures, or trends. And then I like to end with a new book release of the week.
But today I decided to go all out and give you not one, not two, but five of the most anticipated book releases of 2023.
1. ‘Spare’ by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
This has been everywhere for the past week, so it’s only fair that it makes this list. I’m actually very intrigued by Prince Harry’s memoir. It’s no secret the royal has taken a bit of a rebel stance in the last few years in order to protect his family, and do you know what? I applaud that.
If nothing else, this should be an intriguing read where we get a — potentially tongue-in-cheek — insight into the lavish lives of the misunderstood royals, the media drama surrounding them, and how they deal with the pressures of their birthright.
Let’s see if H delivers. Spare just came out today.
2. ‘Yellowface’ by R.F. Kuang
The beloved author of Babel and These Violent Delights strikes again, this time trying her hand at the thriller-satire cross-genre. Yellowface is a dark literary thriller with a writing subplot. We love to see it.
Kuang’s previous books didn’t quite call out to me, but this one sounds right up my street and I’m so excited to finally be able to join the fan club. Because rest assured, readers. I will join. The fan club.
Yellowface comes out on 25 May.
3. ‘Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute’ by Talia Hibbert
The minute I saw this title, I knew it had to go on the list. Because Talia Hibbert can do romance right.
I used to roll my eyes at most romance novels. I found some decent ones along the way, but the best romance I’ve ever read is of the queer sub-genre. I feel like straight romance has been so overdone, that all the tropes and stereotypes are now dusty and boring.
But not Talia Hibbert’s romance. She just knows her stuff. All I want from a love story is a deep, meaningful connection and some well-rounded characters. And Hibbert’s Brown Sisters series does that exquisitely.
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute is about a content creator (hello?) and an athlete who are testing their abilities to survive the great outdoors. Sounds like a fun ride.
4. ‘The London Séance Society’ by Sarah Penner
For those of you gothic-lovers out there, Sarah Penner, author of the acclaimed novel The Lost Apothecary, is back this year with another historical thriller with elements of the occult.
The London Séance Society follows renowned spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire and her understudy, Lenna, on a quest to solve a murder in Victorian London. Will Vaudeline’s mysterious power and Lenna’s incredulousness be enough to lead them to the murderer?
This sounds like the perfect autumn read. I know we’re only in January, but a girl can dream. Curiously, The London Séance Society comes out on 7 March.
5. ‘Old Babes in the Wood’ by Margaret Atwood
The queen that is Margaret Atwood returns in 2023 with a short story collection of a wild title. Literally.
Old Babes in the Wood sounds like a convoluted but well curated collection of stories that cover mundane experiences, bringing them under a magnifying glass through the masterful vision of Atwood’s writing.
From best friends quarrelling, a daughter who thinks her mother is a witch, to elderly female academics, cats, snails, and well-known historical figures, the stories have it all. Do we know what exactly to expect? Absolutely not. And that’s the point.
Margaret Atwood’s short story collection comes out on 7 March.
From controversial memoirs, to ravishing romance, heart-pounding thrillers, and contemporary classics, it looks like the publishers will have us in a chokehold in 2023.
What are your most anticipated books of the year?