2022 Books to Look Out For
Books we’re making shelf space for in 2022.
Bridges are for Burning by Bina Idonije
Other works by author: Debut
Date of publication: To be confirmed
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Oghogho ‘Gigi’ Dempster wore her heart on her sleeve. At almost thirty-one, she was single and ready to mingle after nearly two years of relegating her love-life to the curb in favour of growing her fledgling social media company. Her beautiful best friend Alana was newly pregnant for the love of her life, Benjamin Halal, and her sister Efemena ‘Fifi’ was married to wealthy aristocrat, Lotanna Dike. But on that February 13th night, Gigi wasn’t looking for what her best friend and sister had; not love or marriage, but a temporary connection and intimacy. How could she have known that that night would dramatically alter the course of her life?
Wahala by nikki may
Other works by author: Debut
Date of publication: 6 January 2022
Ronke wants happily ever after and kids. She’s dating Kayode and wants him to be “the one” (perfect, like her dead father). Her friends think he’s just another in a long line of dodgy Nigerian boyfriends. Boo has everything Ronke wants—a kind husband, gorgeous child. But she’s frustrated, unfulfilled, plagued by guilt, and desperate to remember who she used to be. Simi is the golden one with the perfect lifestyle. No one knows she’s crippled by impostor syndrome and tempted to pack it all in each time her boss mentions her “urban vibe.” Her husband thinks they’re trying for a baby. She’s not. When the high-flying, charismatic Isobel explodes into the group, it seems at first she’s bringing out the best in each woman. But the more Isobel intervenes, the more chaos she sows, and Ronke, Simi, and Boo’s close friendship begins to crack. A sharp, modern take on friendship, ambition, culture, and betrayal, Wahala (trouble) is an unforgettable novel from a brilliant new voice.
Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola
Other works by author: Love In Colour
Date of publication: 21 July 2022
Honey & Spice tells the story of the sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo, an expert in relationship-evasion, as well as the women who make up the Afro-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University, and their plights to avoid the mess of situationships, players and heartbreak. But when Kiki meets distressingly handsome and charming newcomer Malakai Korede — who she has publicly denounced as ‘The Wasteman of Whitewell’ — her defenses are weakened. A clash embroils them in a fake relationship to salvage both their reputations, and soon she finds herself in danger of falling for the very man she warned her girls about. Can Kiki look beyond her own presumptions and open herself up to something deeper, or is love out of her reach?
The Paris Apartment by Lucey Foley
Other works by author: The Book of Lost and Found, The Firefly, The Invitation, Last Letter from Istanbul, The Hunting Party, The Guest List
Date of publication: 22 February 2022
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there. The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question. The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge. Everyone's a neighbour. Everyone's a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.
Book Lovers by Emily henry
Other works by author: The Love that Split the World, A Million Junes, Hello Girls, Beach Read, People We Meet on Vacation
Date of publication: 3 May 2022
About: Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
Other works by author: The People in the Trees, A Little Life
Date of publication: 11 January 2022
In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist’s damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him—and solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearances. These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly paradise, and the gradual realisation that it can’t exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.
Unattached edited by Angelica Malin
Date of publication: 3 February 2022
About: Thirty women, from Love Island’s Megan Barton-Hanson and Chante Joseph to Shon Faye and Stephanie Yeboah write on what single womanhood in the modern age means to them.
releases from Akwaeke Emezi
Other works by author: Freshwater, Pet, The Death of Vivek Oji, Dear Senthurian
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty
Date of publication: 24 May 2022
Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again. It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now—an artist with her own studio, and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career. She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the dangerous thrill Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits. This new life she asked for just got a lot more complicated, and Feyi must begin her search for real answers. Who is she ready to become? Can she release her past and honour her grief while still embracing her future? And, of course, there’s the biggest question of all—how far is she willing to go for a second chance at love?
Date of publication: 5 February 2022
Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the town of Lucille. Bitter's instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus . . . but her friends aren't willing to settle for a world that the adults say is "just the way things are.
Content Warning: Everything
Date of publication: To be confirmed
In their bold debut poetry collection, Akwaeke Emezi imagines a new depth of belonging. Crafted of both divine and earthly materials, these poems travel from home to homesickness, tracing desire to surrender and abuse to survival, while mapping out a chosen family that includes the son of god, Mary auntie, and Magdalene with the chestnut eyes. Written from a spirit-first perspective and celebrating the essence of self that is impossible to drown, kill, or reduce, Content Warning: Everything distils the radiant power and epic grief of a mischievous and wanting young deity, embodied.