Whenever I think about the value of reading, I return to
Heidi Montag’s Twitter. The reality TV star is an avid reader, or at least an avid Tweeter, of books, and beautifully distills many of the same sentiments I feel about reading. Take, for instance, her poignant 2020 tweet: “There is just something about holding a book.” So true.
Books were arguably the
hottest accessory of 2023, with celebrities cashing in on the new social capital online. Dua Lipa posted photos of herself lying on a hotel bed reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids. Kaia Gerber started a book club. Suki Waterhouse, Kendall Jenner, Sydney Sweeney and Laufey are all garnering reputations as big readers with excellent taste through posting book recommendations online. Lucy Hale and Emma Roberts have book clubs, while Sarah Jessica Parker and Reese Witherspoon have imprints. Addison Rae and Emrata posted photos of themselves on Instagram reading books like Britney Spears’ memoir The Woman In Me and Sophia Giovannitti’s . Meanwhile, there’s a rising trend of men reading as Working Girl IRL social capital: busting out copies of books like Crying in H Mart or books by Sally Rooney at the bar.
And it’s not just celebrities that want to be known as readers, but writers who are elevating themselves to celebrity status within the literary world. There’s a new crop of
literary It Girls who are redefining the book launch, and in doing so, calling into question the very mechanics of self-presentation, both as artists and as women. Publications like , Forever Magazine , and Copy are publishing lesser-known writers alongside most established ones, and hosting parties that feel accessible (read: actually fun) even if you aren’t pursuing an MFA. Reading series like The Drift Casual Encountersz and Dream Baby Press’ Perverted Book Club are hosting readings in Plaza Hotel rooms, or in a Financial District boxing ring. New, independent publishers like Chelsea Hodson’s Rose Books are in the business of ensuring gutsy authors find homes for their books. The literary industry has been injected with a new, DIY spirit, one with overflowing moxie, one that has room for a lot more people, which is a really exciting feeling.
Of course, none of this is possible without authors and the books they write. 2024 promises a long list of wickedly sharp, blisteringly funny, and original books from established and debut authors. Read on for NYLON’s list of 32 books we’re most excited to read in 2024. (Apologies in advance for the lack of fairy smut.)
In celebrated author Katherine Min’s last novel before her untimely death, there is a philandering violinist, a Japanese-American punk rock singer, and a Korean-American cello prodigy, the latter of which is seeking revenge. But nothing goes as planned and nothing is as meets the eye in this vicious, sensual, and poignant story.
by Kaveh Akbar - Penguin Random House, January 23 Martyr!
The debut novel by poet Kaveh Akbar follows Cyrus, an orphaned, newly sober son of Iranian immigrants who seeks out a terminally ill painter living out her final days at the Brooklyn Museum, in a search of a family secret. It’s razor sharp, viciously funny, and the kind of touching that brings you closer to the heart of the world.
by Dolly Alderton - Penguin Random House, January 30 Good Material
Two versions of one love story converge in the latest from the one and only Dolly Alderton. In her new whip-smart novel, which is cynical as it is sincere, Jes breaks up with Andy, leaving him homeless and nursing a failing standup comedy career. He desperately clings to the idea that he can solve the puzzle of what went wrong — but he has no clue what her side of the story is.
Kiley Reid’s 20121 novel
Such A Fun Age still occupies space in my brain for its incisive brilliance. Reid’s highly-anticipated second novel Come and Get It tackles themes of consumption and reckless abandon, following an RA at the University of Arkansas in 2017, who gets into a messy entanglement with a professor and three unruly students.
Danielle Chelosky’s full-length debut takes cues from writers like
Chelsea Hodson and Melissa Broder, chronicling the impulse to self-destruct. It’s an impulse that takes Chelosky into abandoned buildings and under the bodies of strangers, as she finds herself infatuated with an older man who blurs the lines between pleasure and cruelty, and her decisions blur the line of self-sabotage and self-actualization. (Relatable!)
Sheila Heti is a master of form, constantly expanding the bounds of fiction while expertly defamiliarizing the experience of being human, ultimately drawing you closer to it. In
Alphabetical Diaries, Heti kept a record of her thoughts over a ten-year period and then arranged the sentences from A to Z, creating as the title, suggests an alphabetical diary that is filled with as much despair as it is joy.
This debut novel is both a Black woman’s coming-of-age story and a music-driven twist on the friendship novel (think Susan Choi’s
Trust Exercise meets Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity). Plus, it’s a love letter to punk, both past and present.
A truly original ode to 1950s lesbian social culture,
Greasepaint follows an ensemble of singing, dancing butch lesbians and Yiddish anarchists who play at a New York City bar every Friday night.
E-girls, sex workers, and college dropouts with BPD are the subjects of Rafael Frumkin’s five short, hilarous and debaucherous stories about queer young people. Frumkin is also the author of
Confidence, which has been described by Electric Literature as: “Theranos, but make it gay.” Sold!
I’ve been excited about
Grief Is for People since Sloane Crosley first mentioned it over fries and iced teas at the Odeon in the spring of 2021. We were there to discuss her book , but Crosley and I got to talking instead, of grief. This memoir is about dealing with grief in the wake of the death of Crosley’s closest friend. If there’s anyone who can make you feel less alone about loss — and probably even laugh a little, it’s her. Cult Classic
In the follow-up to his riveting Pulitzer Prize finalist novel
There, There, Tommy Orange traces the dark and luminous legacy, spanning three generations, of a family affected by the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
The debut poetry collection from the critically acclaimed author of the bestseller
The Boat is an ambitious project in the form of a book-length poem that reckons, however unsettlingly, with identity. A format-busting work in the vein of Claudia Rankine and Cathy Park Hong, Le’s book chronicles the violence of assumptions, racism, oppression, and historical trauma. by Rita Bullwinkel - Viking, March 12 Headshot
Rita Bullwinkel’s striking debut sports novel upends the genre, exploring themes of desire and perfectionism in this portrait of eight teenage girl boxers who have come to Reno, Nevada to compete to be named the best boxer in the country.
Matt Starr, co-founder of
Dream Baby Press and a celebrated poet whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, will soon publish his highly-anticipated debut poetry collection MOUTHFUL, a playfully perverse, live-wire look into sexuality, hunger, bodily obsession, New York City and the messiness of growing into one’s desires that’s as tender as it is candid. by Alexandra Tanner - Scribner, March 26 Worry
Alexandra Tanner’s debut novel — described by the publisher as “Seinfeldian” — captures the unique dread of the era, from a Facebook mom who falls for deep state conspiracy theories to a rescue dog named Amy Klobuchar with rabies, in her deadpan story about two sisters living together in Brooklyn.
Marissa Higgins has an addictive and uncanny ability to write about devastating topics with a shrug. It’s a talent that’s on display in her original and stylish debut novel, which follows a young woman pursuing a relationship with a lesbian couple while navigating the recent incarceration of her parents.
TITLE TBA by Ashleah Gonzales - Rose Books, Spring
Before inking a book deal, Ashleah Gonzales was known as a famous reader. Gonzales, who is best known as Kendall Jenner’s modeling agent, was responsible for the stream of excellent works of literary fiction Jenner was photographed reading a couple years ago. Now, she’s set to publish her debut collection of poetry on fellow literary It Girl Chelsea Hodson’s small press
At only 28 years old, Tayi Tibble has already been deemed “one of the most startling and original poets of her generation” by the US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo — and counts Lorde as one of her superfans. Her incendiary second collection of poetry, which moves between Maori mythology and the club, is as stylish and fearless as she is.
Described as Patricia Highsmith meets
The White Lotus, which is enough for me, The Sleepwalkers is a modern gothic story following Richard and Evelyn, a couple honeymooning on a Greek island who are greeted by a salty hotel owner hellbent on making life hell for Evelyn. When the couple is separated in a storm, all the secrets threatening to undo their relationship spill out in this suspenseful, funny novel.
Last year, on Dream Boy Book Club, filmmaker and poet Lily Lady published
, a multimedia art project about voyeurism, desire, and neuroses. Now, cult favorite publisher Far West is releasing NDA, her latest intimate and opaque collection that takes us from the safe words of New York to the alleys of Los Angeles. quickie
Legacy Russell, author of
Glitch Feminism, maps out the idea of the meme as it pertains to Black visual culture from 1900 to present day. From historical to modern images of Blackness — including everything from the Anita Hill hearings to the Facebook Live video of Lavish “Diamond” Reynolds after police murdered her partner Philando Castile, Russell argues that the contributions of Black people have had a profound impact on digital culture. by Miranda July - Riverhead Books, May 14 All Fours
Miranda July — actor, filmmaker and
literary it girl of the 2010s — is releasing her first novel in eight years. All Fours is an irreverent, erotic novel about a semi-famous, middle-aged artist who upends her life. (Is there any better genre?)
In the memoir all Riot Grrrls have been waiting for, legendary Bikini Kill and Le Tigre frontwoman
Kathleen Hanna takes us through her tumultuous childhood and rebellious youth in Olympia, Washington to starting the Riot Grrrl movement in the 1990s to her friendship with Kurt Cobain to falling in love with Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys to her debilitating battle with Lyme disease.
Honor Levy has been hailed as a riveting voice of Gen Z for her surreal, electric flash fiction stories that find her characters increasingly enmeshed in a digital age on the edge of collapse. Now, she releases her much-anticipated debut short story collection.
Emma Rosenblum brought us
, a salacious, impossible-to-put-down book about the murderous intrigue of a gossiping group of wealthy people vacationing on Bad Summer People Fire Island. Now, she brings us Very Bad Company, which follows 10 dysfunctional colleagues brokering a billion-dollar deal over a weekend in paradise that turns murderous. Think White Lotus meets Succession.
If Anna Dorn’s last book
was for the astrology girls, Exalted Perfume & Pain is for the fragrance heads. In her latest sultry romp of a novel, a controversial LA author attempts to revive her career and finally find true love in this hilarious nod to 1950s lesbian pulp fiction.
In Frankie Barnet’s sly debut novel, humans have nixed the animals, believing mankind is safer without them. People are selling house plants like mad to replace pets, and finding work cosplaying as dogs. From this strange world comes a uniquely modern love story between an Instagram poet and a tech billionaire who is working on a time machine to go back to when things were normal, whatever that means.
Described as “barely factual,” Sex Goblin trafficks more in emotional truths. Combining sex writing, popular culture, and autofiction, Lauren Cook presents a surrealist book of aphorisms and vignettes about sex and the internet.
by Porochista Khakpour - Penguin Random House, June 11 Tehrangeles
Porochista Khakpour’s biting, clever tragicomic follows Iranian-American multimillionaires with four spirited daughters who are on the verge of landing their own reality TV show when they realize their deepest secrets are about to be dragged out into the open before the cameras even roll. Think: Reality TV, Los Angeles McMansions, and a fast food empire.
by Rachel Cusk - Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, June 18 Parade
Rachel Cusk has been praised for her gut renovation of the form of the novel in her
Outline trilogy. Now, she’s back with a new work following an artist who begins painting upside down, that further demolishes traditional storytelling conventions.
Girlhood, family, and longing are the focus of Juliet Escoria’s short story collection, which follows everyone from community college students to abusive grandmothers to gardeners, in her sharp stories that resist moralizing and leave room for the beautiful, foggy grey areas.
Vogue writer Emma Specter takes a deeply reported and personal look at the realities of binge-eating disorder, covering everything from restrictive diets, intermittent fasting, IV therapies, and Ozempic abuse in this part report, part memoir.