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The 27 Most Exciting Books Coming In 2016

Here are the books we can't wait to read in 2016! (Ranked in no particular order.)

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Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

1. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Riverhead Books

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi
Piotr Cieplak

Helen Oyeyemi

The stories in Helen Oyeyemi's stunning collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours look at keys that lock or unlock everything from magical diaries to hearts. Highly imaginative and enchanting, Oyeyemi's writing in What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours will take readers on a journey to a world that is at once strange and intoxicating — this collection is Oyeyemi at her best.

Publication date: March 8

2. High Dive by Jonathan Lee

High Dive by Jonathan Lee
Knopf

High Dive by Jonathan Lee

Jonathan Lee
Tanja Kernweiss

Jonathan Lee

At the center of Jonathan Lee's brilliant new novel High Dive is an assassination plot: In 1984, a bomb is set in place at a hotel in Brighton, England, in an attempt to take down British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet. A poignant, multi-voiced account of the precarious weeks leading up to the explosion, High Dive offers an intimate look at tragedy, loyalty, and a pivotal moment in history.

Publication date: March 8

3. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee
M. Sharkey

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee's novel Queen of the Night is a vivid, glittering portrait of Paris in the 19th century and its opera scene. A spellbinding story of intrigue and self-reinvention, Queen of the Night follows famed soprano Lilliet Berne from her humble beginnings as an orphan to her rise as an opera star and all the secrets she finds herself entangled in along the way.

Publication date: Feb. 2

4. The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

Viking
karan-mahajan.com!about/c2414

Karan Mahajan's The Association of Small Bombs is a deeply compassionate exploration of the effects terrorism has on both the victims and the perpetrators. In 1996, a small bomb detonates in a South Delhi marketplace, killing two young boys and traumatizing their surviving friend. Dark, devastating, and sharply wise, The Association of Small Bombs is a tale of loss, grief, guilt, and redemption.

Publication date: March 22

5. The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray

The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray

John Wray
Ali Smith

John Wray

John Wray's The Lost Time Accidents is a wild, sweeping adventure through time, science, and one family's curious legacy. When Waldemar "Waldy" Tolliver wakes up one day to find that he has been exiled from the flow of time, he desperately searches for a way back but must also reconcile with his family's secrets and a failed romance.

Publication date: Feb. 9

6. We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Algonquin Books
Syreeta McFadden

Kaitlyn Greenidge's masterful debut novel We Love You, Charlie Freeman is at heart an examination of race and language — an African-American family is hired by a New England research institute to raise and teach sign language to a chimpanzee, but the institute has a shockingly dark past. We Love You, Charlie Freeman skillfully tackles history and heavy subjects with both humor and thoughtfulness; this book proves Greenidge will be a literary force to be reckoned with.

Publication date: March 8

7. What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell
Max Freeman

Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell's debut novel What Belongs to You aches with desire and tenderness: an American professor in Bulgaria encounters a male prostitute named Mitko in a public bathroom, beginning a complex sexual relationship between the two that will have enormous ramifications for them both. Lyrical and haunting, What Belongs to You is a rumination on lust, shame, violence, and the ways in which sexual and emotional pain stays with and shapes us.

Publication date: Jan. 19

8. Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey

Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey
Little, Brown and Company

Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey

Idra Novey
idranovey.com

Idra Novey

In Idra Novey's quirky debut novel, Ways to Disappear, a famous but debt-stricken Brazilian novelist vanishes, leaving her children and one young American translator determined to solve the puzzling circumstances of her disappearance. Fast-paced and colorful, Ways to Disappear is part mystery, part romance, but 100% a delight.

Publication date: Feb. 9

9. In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Knopf

The nonfiction debut of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words is a memoir recounting Lahiri's sometimes difficult love affair with the Italian language. Passionate, moving, and strikingly honest, In Other Words is the powerful story of one writer learning how to read, write, and speak in a new voice.

Publication date: Feb. 9

10. Zero K by Don DeLillo

Scribner
Joyce Ravid

In Don DeLillo's newest novel, Zero K, death is no longer a certainty of human life — a secret scientific compound in a remote location preserves bodies indefinitely until future technology and medicine can heal and revive them. Moving yet often funny, Zero K is a thoughtful meditation on what we choose to preserve or leave behind, the role of death in human existence, and the nature of our responsibility for the future.

Publication date: May 10

11. Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson

Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson
Harper

Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson

Sari Wilson
Elena Seibert

Sari Wilson

Sari Wilson's powerful debut, Girl Through Glass, is the story of a young girl who grows up too quickly in the harshly competitive world of New York City ballet in the 1970s. A dark and utterly engrossing coming-of-age novel, Girl Through Glass is a haunting portrait of obsession, ambition, sacrifice, and the secrets one woman thought she left in the past.

Publication date: Jan. 26

12. Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
Lee Boudreaux Books

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

Sunil Yapa
sunilyapa.com

Sunil Yapa

Sunil Yapa's ambitious debut novel, Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, is set amidst the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, where the lives of seven people are irrevocably changed in the ensuing violence and fight for power. Beautifully wrought and sympathetic, Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist gazes unflinchingly at the depths of humanity and compassion, weaving seven disparate voices together into one raw account of the protests.

Publication date: Jan. 12

13. LaRose by Louise Erdrich

Harper
Paul Emmell

Louise Erdrich's stunning new novel LaRose opens with an unforgivable tragedy: In the summer of 1999, a North Dakota man accidentally shoots and kills his neighbor's youngest son — a boy who is also his own son's best friend. In penance, he gives up his son LaRose to the grief-stricken neighbor's family. Luminous and deeply affecting, LaRose examines the fragile bond between two heartbroken families and the complexities of justice, loss, healing, and redemption.

Publication date: May 10

14. Hunger by Roxane Gay

Harper
Jay Grabiec

Hunger is Roxane Gay's highly anticipated memoir of her relationship with body image, weight, and food. Powerful and fiercely honest, Hunger shares Gay's past struggles with self-care and examines emotional, psychological, and physical hunger.

Publication date: June 14

15. Bullies: A Friendship by Alex Abramovich

Bullies by Alex Abramovich
Henry Holt and Co.

Bullies by Alex Abramovich

Alex Abramovich
Ceridwen Morris

Alex Abramovich

Alex Abramovich's Bullies is the provocative account of a most unusual friendship: Decades after elementary school, Abramovich encounters his childhood bully in California, who is now the president of a motorcycle club in Oakland. Thought-provoking and fearless, Bullies offers sharp insight into violence, masculinity, and the history and future of one of America's most dangerous cities.

Publication date: March 8

16. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Riverhead Books
Jennifer Bastian

Set in one very true-to-life Brooklyn neighborhood, Emma Straub's new novel Modern Lovers revolves around a group of former college friends (and bandmates) now all grown up with their own kids and struggling to accept the realities of middle age. Wise and often hilarious, Modern Lovers is a testament to how the passions and secrets of our youth can last well into adulthood.

Publication date: May 31

17. Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte

William Morrow
Lydia White

Tony Tulathimutte's brilliant debut novel is hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. A spot-on, satirical portrait of modern San Francisco and the privilege that inhabits it, Private Citizens follows four once-estranged friends who must grapple with their own ambition and subsequent failures in the frenetic world of the Bay Area. Brimming with wit and heart, Private Citizens is an impressive debut from a sharp new voice.

Publication date: Feb. 9

18. The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel

Grove Press
Elliot and Erick Jimenez

Patricia Engel's moving new novel The Veins of the Ocean follows a young woman who feels partially responsible for the crime her brother was ultimately put to death for, and her journey to the Florida Keys, where she meets an exiled Cuban man with baggage of his own. Beautifully wrought and vibrant, The Veins of the Ocean is a compelling meditation on guilt, nature, redemption, and the immigrant experience.

Publication date: May 3

19. What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera

What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera
St. Martin's Press

What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera

Nayomi Munaweera
nayomimunaweera.com!bio/c14o2

Nayomi Munaweera

Nayomi Munaweera's What Lies Between Us is the tragic story of a young girl in Sri Lanka who flees to America with her mother after her father's death. Despite reinventing herself in a new country, she still carries the demons of her past, which finally lead her to commit an unthinkable act. Told from inside her prison cell, What Lies Between Us is a dark, gripping testament to the ways in which childhood trauma can continue to haunt us long into adulthood.

Publication date: Feb. 16

20. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Ecco

At the heart of Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's highly anticipated debut novel The Nest lies a very dysfunctional family: The four adult Plumb siblings have spent their lives waiting to finally receive "The Nest," their joint trust fund, in hopes of it solving their problems, when the oldest sibling's car accident suddenly endangers it all. Largehearted and witty, The Nest is a tender portrait of a family who must face their past choices and the consequences of their expected inheritance on their relationships and one another.

Publication date: March 22

21. Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett

Graywolf Press
Jerry Riley

Set in the bustling metropolis of Lagos, A. Igoni Barrett's provocative novel Blackass is a searing satire about a Nigerian man who wakes up one day as a white man. A brilliant, contemporary reworking of Kafka's Metamorphosis, Blackass is an insightful commentary on race, identity, and modern-day Nigeria.

Publication date: March 1

22. The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni

Counterpoint

Abby Geni's debut novel The Lightkeepers is as wild as the landscape it describes: A nature photographer embarks on a one-year residency in an isolated, dangerous archipelago of islands off the Californian coast, only to encounter violence and a set of companions she cannot trust. Mysterious, vivid, and original, The Lightkeepers will quickly ensnare readers in its cruelly beautiful world.

Publication date: Jan. 12

23. Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue

Riverhead Books
Zony Maya

Álvaro Enrigue's Sudden Death reads more like an intoxicating adventure than a novel — set around the world in the 16th century, Sudden Death presents familiar players (Galileo, Caravaggio, Anne Boleyn, Cortés, and more) like we've never seen them before. Spectacularly original, Enrigue's daring novel challenges everything readers think they know about European colonialism, history, art, and modernity.

Publication date: Feb. 9

24. The Narrow Door by Paul Lisicky

Graywolf Press

Paul Lisicky's The Narrow Door is a bravely honest memoir of two complex, long-term writer friendships, one with a female novelist and the other with Lisicky's poet ex-husband. Brimming with compassion and tenderness, The Narrow Door explores loss, love, and all the often painful facets of modern relationships.

Publication date: Jan. 19

25. You Should Pity Us Instead by Amy Gustine

Sarabande Books

Amy Gustine's moving debut collection, You Should Pity Us Instead, contains an impressive range of stories about everything from conflict in the Middle East to child abuse and suicide. Yet despite the extraordinary breadth of landscapes and topics in You Should Pity Us Instead, every character comes alive with the emotional depth and empathy of Gustine's writing.

Publication date: Feb. 9

26. Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Copper Canyon Press
Peter Bienkowski

Ocean Vuong's stunning debut poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds establishes Vuong as a fierce new talent to be reckoned with. The vulnerable, dreamlike lines in Night Sky with Exit Wounds will stick in the mind long after reading — this book is a masterpiece that captures, with elegance, the raw sorrows and joys of human existence.

Publication date: Apr. 12

27. Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Here I Am is Jonathan Safran Foer's first new novel in over a decade. Set in Washington, Here I Am follows a Jewish family on the verge of falling apart while on the other side of the world, life in the Middle East is shattered by a devastating earthquake, and an invasion in Israel. Publication date: Sept. 6
Meg Handler / Polaris

Here I Am is Jonathan Safran Foer's first new novel in over a decade. Set in Washington, Here I Am follows a Jewish family on the verge of falling apart while on the other side of the world, life in the Middle East is shattered by a devastating earthquake, and an invasion in Israel.

Publication date: Sept. 6

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