The Best New Books To Read In 2022

At Refinery29 Australia, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but we may earn commission or other compensation from the links on this page.
As we get well into 2022, we're all on the hunt for new books to sink our teeth into. Whether you're after a lighter beach read, a book about love and dating, a gripping biography or a thriller novel that you can't put down, there's a slew of incredibly talented authors with new titles hitting shelves in 2022.
Advertisement
With travel still limited due to the pandemic, I'm gearing up to let my heart and mind wander across seas through an array of global (and local) stories that explore identity and culture, such as Olga Dies Dreaming and Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, or just give us some feel-good action from the streets of NYC, such as In A New York Minute.
Here's a round-up of some of the best and most anticipated new books in 2022.
DashDividers_1_500x100

Sunbathing by Isobel Beech

Release date: May 3
The debut novel from Melbourne-based writer Isobel Beech is one to snag straight away. Traversing from Melbourne to Italy, the text grapples with grief, friendship and life. A friend of Refinery29 received an advance copy and labelled this one profound and healing.
Beech herself says that this book started as a "very private Google Doc" in response to losing someone to suicide. "I eventually started working through some of the ideas and truths in that doc, turning them into something I might someday share with others," she says.
DashDividers_1_500x100

Poūkahangatus by Tayi Tibble

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher

Release date: July 28
Tayi Tibble (Te Whānau ā Apanui/Ngāti Porou) from across the pond in Wellington, New Zealand is publishing her first book Poūkahangatus in Penguin Poetry. Orginally released in 2018, this collection of poetry (pronounced 'Pocahontas') is an exploration of Māori culture, sexuality, politics and womanhood — all the while toying with the Kardashians and Twilight.
Advertisement
DashDividers_1_500x100
Release date: January 25
No, it's not quite a parallel to Emily In Paris but just the refreshing take on the city of love that we need. This book penned by US author Kerri Maher centres on a young Sylvia Beach who opens an English-language bookshop on the bohemian Left Bank.
Some of the most iconic literary minds have been published through Shakespeare and Company, but when author James Joyce's controversial novel is banned, Sylvia's on the case but it all comes at a deep personal cost. It's a gorgeous read that visits the life-changing power of books.
DashDividers_1_500x100

Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens by Shankari Chandran

Ultimo Press
Release date: January 5
What I loved the most about this book was how Sri Lankan Australian author Shankari Chandran explored the issues of racism and dispossession faced by migrants in Australia by introducing us into the lives of one beautifully tight-knit community.
They're the residents at a suburban Sydney nursing home that has replaced its three veg and meat dinners for aromatic dishes infused with turmeric and other eastern spices. Chandran questions what it means to be Australian, a question many of us continue to ask ourselves every day.
DashDividers_1_500x100

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Hachette
DashDividers_1_500x100
Release date: January 25
This suspenseful read follows Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime – to complete the remaining books in a successful series penned by bestselling author's wife who is injured. But what she wasn't expecting to find is the woman's autobiography, filled with chilling tales, that she never intended for anyone to read.
Advertisement
From the author of BookTok favourite, It Ends With Us is the perfect choice if you're after a gripping read but be warned, its twists and turns may very well keep you up at night.
DashDividers_1_500x100

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Hachette
Release date: January 11
Set in 2017, Olga Dies Dreaming centres Olga Acevedo and her congressman brother Pedro “Prieto,” as they navigate identity and gentrification in the Latinx neighbourhood of Brooklyn they grew up in while dealing with family secrets and the fading promise of the American Dream.
It has also inspired a TV show. Starring the likes of Aubrey Plaza, Ramón Rodriguez, Jessica Pimentel, a pilot episode for US network Hulu has already been filmed.
DashDividers_1_500x100

In A New York Minute by Kate Spencer

Pan Macmillan
Release date: March 29
Reinforcing just how easy it is to go viral on social media for the simplest or most random of acts, LA-based author Kate Spencer's new book is a modern take on the romantic comedy genre.
Franny meets Hayes in the opposite of a meet-cute. When her dress gets caught in the doors of the subway and rips, Hayes is at the rescue, giving her his jacket to cover up. What they don't realise is the embarrassing incident was live-blogged by a commuter who brands them #subwaybaes. Cue the start of a manufactured love story.
Advertisement
DashDividers_1_500x100

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Penguin
Release date: March 29
This book follows the lives of two young Taiwanese American women as they navigate friendship, sexuality, identity, and heartbreak over two decades.
Fiona Lin and Jane Shen have been best friends since the second grade, growing up in Los Angeles. When Fiona relocates to New York to help support a friend who's going through a relationship breakdown, Jane stays behind in California and grieves her estranged father's death. As they weave in and out of each other lives over time, we see the women dealing with grief, friendship and love while figuring out what it means to be an Asian American.
DashDividers_1_500x100

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

Hachette
Release date: March 29
Peach Blossom is inspired by author Melissa Fu's father's real-life experiences and is an enlightening take on the immigrant experience.
It looks at the history of modern China told through the lens of one family, reminding us of the power of our past and the yearning for belonging.
DashDividers_1_500x100

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

Pan Macmillan
This novel reimagines the unexplained 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926 that had the world talking. Nan O'Dea, who had escaped her tough upbringing in London during the Great World War, makes her way back to England from Ireland.
Advertisement
She and Agatha become the most unlikely of allies and when Agatha goes missing, a dark secret unravels that only Nan holds the key to. It's a perfect book for a history buff ready to be pulled in for an imaginary ride.
DashDividers_1_500x100

Finding Me by Viola Davis

Harper Collins
Release date: April 26
This is the American actor's highly-anticipated memoir. In her own words, Davis says the book "is a deep reflection on my past and a promise for my future. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you."
DashDividers_1_500x100
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!   

More from Books & Art