Wondering what to read now? Here are all the hot new January 2023 book releases for you. I’ll let you know what I’ve read, what I can’t wait to read, and what’s getting all the attention this month.
In case you’re new to Booklist Queen, every month I cover all the hottest new book releases. I try to read as many new book releases as I can to give you an honest perspective on what to read and what to skip.
However, I realize that my to-read list might not exactly match yours. That’s why I’ve also included some of the most popular January 2023 book releases from your favorite authors.
Enough from me. Let’s get on to the January 2023 book releases so you can fill up your to-read list.
Top January 2023 Book Releases
The Bandit Queens
Five years ago, Geeta’s no-good husband simply walked away and she never heard from him again. However, in her small Indian village, the rumor persists that Geeta killed him. Geeta doesn’t mind since no one wants to mess with a black widow. Until women start asking Geeta for advice on how to off their own husbands and they won’t take no for an answer.
It’s been a long time since a book made me laugh this hard. Shroff’s dark sense of humor eases the very weighty topic of gender expectations and limitations in Indian society. Heartwarming and hilarious all at once, The Bandit Queens has a well-rounded story and witty characters that make for an enjoyable, yet thought-provoking, read. Easily five stars from me (though be warned it has some language), I’ll be shocked if one of the celebrity book clubs doesn’t choose it in January.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Ballantine Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Good for a Girl
Lauren Fleshman is one of the most-decorated distance runners in the United States. In Good for a Girl, Fleshman tells of how she fell in love with running as a girl and shares her own running journey. Yet, Good for a Girl isn’t just a memoir. It’s a powerful look at how competitive sports are designed for men and boys and routinely fail female athletes, leading to injuries, eating disorders, and mental health issues.
Let me just warn you that Good for a Girl will be making ALL of my top lists in 2023. I was blown away by Fleshman’s fantastic memoir. I love how she was able to take her personal experience and expand it to a larger narrative about women in sports. It makes me so angry how badly our society has failed women of my generation with our obsession with weight and thinness. Yet by bravely addressing these issues, books like Good for a Girl make me hopeful that we can make the world a better place for my daughters. I’m going to apologize in advance, I am going to be talking about this must-read book for the next year, at least.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Penguin Press. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Of all the January 2023 Book Releases, none is more anticipated than the memoir of Prince Harry. The second son of King Charles III and his first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, Harry felt the eyes of all the world on him when he had to walk behind his mother’s coffin. In his own words (including narrating the audiobook version), Prince Harry tells about his life as the second child in line for succession and about his marriage that has lead to much drama with the British press and in the royal family.
A year ago, Aaron Falk traveled to the South Australian wine country to celebrate the christening of his godson, his friend sheriff Raco’s son. But the event was canceled when Raco’s sister-in-law vanished that weekend, leaving her baby asleep in the stroller. Now Falk has returned for the rescheduled christening, noticing cracks in this once well-knit group prompting the disclosure of long-kept secrets.
Although I loved the first Aaron Falk mystery, the second book in the series had almost nothing to do with Aaron Falk’s character. Not so with this third book. Aaron Falk is front and center as he gets caught up in the mystery and reexamines his own life. I will say, the beginning of Exiles was a struggle. I had a hard time getting into the setup and was often confused by the initial flashbacks. However, once I was into the mystery, I thought it was perfectly executed, slowly peeling away clues layer by layer.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Flatiron Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Although they were inseparable growing up, Emily and Chess have begun to grow apart in their 30s. Now Chess is a bestselling self-help author and influencer while Emily is going through a nasty divorce. They hope to reconnect on a girls’ trip to a gorgeous Italian villa that was the setting of a celebrity murder and the inspiration for a bestselling horror novel and a platinum album. The further Emily tries to solve the long-ago murder, the more Chess becomes uncomfortable and their hidden secrets come spilling out.
Though the luxurious Italian setting was utterly perfect, The Villa didn’t have the same unputdownable factor that made Reckless Girls a bestseller last year. The beginning is slow, going light on suspense and heavy on drama. Although I enjoyed the past timeline, the unlikeable characters made this an easy-to-read, yet forgettable mystery.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
In a sequel to the dark academia fantasy, Ninth House, Alex Stern is back and determined to rescue Darlington from purgatory. Without the aid of Ninth House, Alex and Dawes must dive into the society’s deepest secrets to find a portal to the underworld. When Yale faculty members begin to die, Alex realizes that something more is going on in New Haven.
All the Dangerous Things
A year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life was dramatically changed when her toddler was taken while she and her husband slept in the next room. Once a sleepwalker but now suffering from crippling insomnia, Isabelle is obsessed with finding Mason. When she turns to a true crime podcaster for help, Isabelle begins to doubt her memories and worries that she might have been responsible.
Stacy Willingham’s sophomore novel is an excellent domestic thriller, even better than her debut. With plenty of red herrings and great twists, All the Dangerous Things will keep you gripped to the page, never knowing which character you can trust. Even better, the character development is top-notch. Full of nuanced women, the story shows so many facets of motherhood, both good and bad.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Minotaur Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
In a wealthy New England neighborhood, the death of Eden Perry puts the residents under the spotlight. Quickly, suspicions fall upon the three teenagers Eden was partying with – sweet but unstable Hannah, popular bully Jack, and outsider Christopher. When Christoper is arrested, the parents turn on each other, willing to risk anything for their kids.
Amidon’s domestic thriller is more of a family drama than thriller, feeling like a less-satisfying version of Liane Moriarty’s popular books. Locust Lane focuses solely on the parents, each desperately trying to protect their own, causing the truth to get tangled up and lost. However, the fractured storytelling with so many point-of-views resulted in a lot of backtracking, slowing the pace too much.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celadon Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Book of the Month – January 2023
Receiving my blue box from Book of the Month Club is a highlight of every month.
Here’s how it works – each month, they pick 5 books and you get to choose one book or skip until the next month. If you want to add any extra books, then you get them at a discounted price.
Each month is usually a mix of new releases and advance copies of unreleased books. If you are interested in joining, right now you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get your first book for $5!
The January Book of the Month selections are:
See the Complete List of Upcoming Releases!
GMA Book Club Pick January 2023
Age of Vice
In the middle of the night in New Delhi, an expensive Mercedes jumps the curb and kills five people. When the dust settles, only a stunned servant is left to explain what happened. An Indian version of The Godfather, Age of Vice tells the interconnecting crime thriller and epic family drama of Sonny Wadia, the playboy heir of a mobster; Neda, his journalist girlfriend; and Ajay, his loyal servant.
Age of Vice starts with a bang, gripping you from the start with the tale of Ajay, an Indian boy born in poverty, then sold into slavery, who eventually becomes the personal manservant of the son of a mob boss. At this point, I was completely feeling all the five-star reviews.
Once the narrative shifts away from Ajay, the story stumbles. Kapoor recycles the narrative, this time showcasing Neda’s backstory, which is less interesting but still manageable. Then, the plot shifts again, into the train wreck that is Sunny’s current life plus random backstories of other characters that dragged on and completely lost me. The fast-paced ending was hard to follow and left you without a resolution for any of the characters. Which is how I found out it’s the first book in a planned trilogy; a trilogy I have no intention of finishing.
Reese’s Book Club January 2023
The House in the Pines
During her senior of high school, Maya’s best friend mysteriously dropped dead in front of Frank, a man they had been spending time with that summer. Trying to kick the addiction that helped her cope with her friend’s death, Maya is shocked to see a YouTube video of another teenager girl dropping dead in front of Frank. Returning to her hometown to search for answers, Maya finds clues in her deceased father’s book that make her reevaluate her past.
Read With Jenna’s January 2023 Pick
As a seven-year-old, Sam adores her absent father and all she wants to do is climb trees. As Sam matures, she struggles to fit in and be noticed while shying away from attention. Wanting to forge her own path, she is caught between her mother’s plans, her father’s disappointment, and her climbing coach’s attention. This coming-of-age novel is said to be emotionally powerful and hopeful.
The Most Anticipated January 2023 Book Releases
What Lies in the Woods
Kate Alice Marshall
At age eleven, best friends Naomi, Cassidy, and Olivia spent the summer roaming the woods. Until Naomi was attacked, surviving 17 stab wounds, and the girls’ testimonies put a serial killer in prison for the death of six other women. Except, they lied. Now Olivia wants to tell and Naomi must discover the dangerous truth of what really happened in the woods that summer.
If you are looking for a solid thriller to curl up with this winter, What Lies in the Woods delivers a fun quick read. I was worried the story would be too predictable, but even though several of my guesses were correct, there were still twists I did not see coming. I won’t say it’s the most original thriller I’ve ever read and the characters weren’t the best developed, but it was an enjoyable weekend read.
River Sing Me Home
At a Barbados plantation in 1834, the master gathers his slaves together and announces that they have all been emancipated. Now they are to be his apprentices instead of slaves, although they must now work for him for another six years. Instead, Rachel decides to leave, searching for her five children who were sold away.
The Stolen Heir
In a new duology set in the same world as The Cruel Prince trilogy, Holly Black takes up the story of Jude’s brother Oak. The reluctant prince must embark on a dangerous quest with the changeling queen Suren. Details are thin, so I’ll update with more once the full book description is available.
The Mitford Affair
In between WWI and WWII, the six Mitford sisters were the talk of English society, each sister more beautiful and talented than the last. However, rumors begin to spread when Diana divorces her wealthy husband and marries a fascist leader and Unity follows suit. Suspicious of her sisters’ frequent trips to Germany, novelist Nancy Mitford must decide where her loyalties lie as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.
In London, Maddie spends most of her time either at home taking care of her father with advanced Parkinson’s or at work in a job she hates where she is the only Black employee. When her mother returns from Ghana, Maddie is thrilled to move out and experience life for herself. After tragedy strikes, Maddie begins to understand her unconventional family and the joys and fears of putting her heart on the line.
The Nazi Conspiracy
Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a bold meeting with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill to build a crucial strategy for the war. As soon as Hitler’s regime learned of the meeting, the Nazis hatched a plot to assassinate the three world leaders. Full of political intrigue and daring rescues, The Nazi Conspiracy details a close call that could have changed history forever.
How To Sell a Haunted House
Estranged siblings Louise and Mark Joyner are devastated when their parents die at the end of the pandemic. With their bank accounts ravaged by the economic uncertainty, their only hope is to sell their childhood home. Yet when strange things begin to happen in the home, they worry the only way to get away from their past is to burn it all down.
Code Name Blue Wren
Ana Montes was one of the US government’s top experts on Cuba, working her way up the ranks to the Defense Intelligence Agency. The daughter of an Army Colonel, Ana’s family was full of patriots; her siblings were FBI agents, and her sister Lucy was responsible for hunting out Cuban spies. Yet, even Lucy was shocked when, in the days after 9/11, Ana was arrested as a secret agent for Cuba. With Ana Montes’s release from prison scheduled in January 2023, Jim Popkin details the opposite routes two sisters took and how one turned into the most-damaging spy against America.
Who knew the story of the most deadly spy in US History could be so completely and utterly boring? With stilted writing full of cliches, Code Name Blue Wren was more informative than interesting. Popkin failed to add any force behind his writing, and I finally gave up at the 25% mark, realizing that the writing would never improve enough for me to care about this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin Trade Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Popular January Upcoming Releases
What January 2023 Book Releases are You Most Excited to Read?
What books can you not wait to get your hands on this month? Did I miss any January 2023 book releases that you are anticipating? As always, let me know in the comments!
More New Book Releases:
Maame and the Mitford Affair are the ones I am most looking forward to.
Debi Morton says
Would Good For A Girl be appropriate and good for a running obsessed 15-year-old?
I think so. It’s a memoir about running which they will either relate to or find not action-filled enough. Depends on what they like to read. Probably the former. It would teach the dangers of RED-S and how to avoid the complications that come with overtraining and undereating. They’d learn valuable lessons to help them be a better athlete in the long term. I will say it is an excellent book to read as the parent of a running-obsessed teen.