New books of 2018 take on the the world

Graphic by Carrie Clowers ’18

Graphic by Carrie Clowers ’18

BY SIDNEY BOKER ’21

With the new year comes new books! To help navigate the slew of new stories out this year, here is a small tasting menu of the most anticipated books, with genres including thriller, fantasy, YA, contemporary and nonfiction. These books here have been compiled from Bustle’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2018”and Barnes and Noble’s “Best of 2018” lists.


Thriller: “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn

Release date: Jan. 2, 2018

Finn’s debut novel, the highly anticipated thriller “The Woman in the Window,” hit the shelves this past January. The novel follows Anna Fox, an agoraphobic and unreliable child psychologist who wastes her days away watching both old movies and her neighbors. When Anna witnesses an event she should not have, her phobia and past secrets come to a head as her world begins to disintegrate and nothing is as it seems.


Fantasy: “Circe” by Madeline Miller

Release date: April 10, 2018

Madeline Miller, author of “The Song of Achilles,” is back with another mythological retelling. “Circe” details the life of the titular Circe, daughter of Helios. Neither powerful nor seductive like her parents, she turns to humans for comfort and discovers an affinity for witchcraft. Her gift results in banishment to an island, where she hones her powers and meets various other mythological characters. Upon unwittingly becoming the target of powerful Olympians’ anger, Circe must rely on her powers to protect what she cares about most. 

Mount Holyoke thoughts: Katie Corasanti ’21 enjoys that “the author is creating a new look at the stories behind the myths and legends” and she “would love to read [this book] when it comes out!”


Young Adult: “A Reaper at the Gates” by Sabaa Tahir

Release date: July 21, 2018

“A Reaper at the Gates” is the third installment in author Sabaa Tahir’s Ember Quartet. The book follows the characters we’ve all grown to love: Laia of Serra, Elias Veturius and Helene Aquilla. Laia hunts the Nightbringer while becoming entangled in a fight of which she never wanted to be part. At the same time, Elias serves the Soul Catcher in a land between life and death, and Helene struggles to stay alive and prevent the imperial court from disintegrating into madness and schemes. According to Tahir, the cover of “A Reaper at the Gates,” as well as the new paperback editions of the first two books, have been redesigned to showcase the characters of color.


Contemporary: “Speak No Evil” by Uzodinma Iweala

Release date: March 6, 2018

“Speak No Evil,” by author and physician Uzodinma Iweala, is expected to be published this upcoming March. The story follows Niru, top of his class and track star, and his best friend Meredith, the only person who knows that he is gay. Once Niro’s conservative Nigerian father discovers the truth, his life is brutally upturned. Meredith, however, is dealing with her own struggles and cannot spare much sympathy. As the teens wrestle with a conformist society that wants to define and label them, they head toward an unfathomable violent and senseless future.

Mount Holyoke thoughts: Rebekah Mcbane ’21 is “looking forward to the release of ‘Speak No Evil’ because representation is important in all forms of media” and she said that “contemporary literature lacks relatable LGBTQIA+ characters.”


Nonfiction: “Feel Free” by Zadie Smith

Release date: Jan. 29, 2018

Award-winning writer Zadie Smith’s collection of essays, entitled “Feel Free,” made its debut early last week. It tackles issues from global warming to why we like libraries. Smith covers pop culture, as well as social and political change, with humanity and wit. The collection acts as a confluence for “classic” published essays like “Joy,” and previously unpublished works — an intriguing and current example of literary journalism.

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