Best New Fiction: January 2013


Typically January is a slow month for new and exciting novels to be published, but there are still a few coming out this month that we’re super excited to get our hands on. Below, in our own words, you’ll find our rundown on each. Prepare yourself, your to-read pile (and ours) is about to grow.  Best New Fiction: January 2013 edition!

The_Illicit_Happiness_Of_Other_PeopleThe Illicit Happiness of Other People
By Manu Joseph

Ousep Chacko is journalist and failed novelist living in southern India in the 1990s.  His wife manages their funds, raises their children, and with whatever time is left over, dreams of new and exciting ways in which he could die.  However it’s the couple’s seemingly well adjusted seventeen-year-old son who meets a tragic end leaving them both to wonder, was this an accident or a suicide?  Ousep eventually goes off the deep end, pursuing every angle, following every lead, stalking suspects and former friends of his son in a quest for answers.  Joseph has delivered a universal tale of family, mystery, and love that should not be missed.

Me_Before_YouMe Before You
By JoJo Moyes

Okay, you caught us cheating just a little bit, because technically this novel was released on December 31st, 2012, but we wouldn’t want a little thing like 24 hours to stand in the way of informing you about this title.  Fans of Moyes previous efforts have little doubt that she knows how to write a love story.  Here she tackles the complicated relationship between ordinary girl Louisa Clark and a wheelchair bound man named Will Traynor whom she’s hired spend time with.  Funny, charming, romantic, and suicidal.  It shouldn’t work, which is exactly why it does.

18_Grey18% Gray
By Zachary Karabashliev
Translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel

Karabashliev is a novelist and a playwright whose debut novel 18% Grey won the Bulgarian Novel of the Year award in 2008.  This whacked out love story follows Zach, who returns to the United States from Tijuanna with some weed he found after the sudden disappearance of his wife.  Armed with only a camera and the dope, he sets out on a road trip across America determined to change his life.  It seems that America has other plans however.

By Will Self

We admit this one might not be for everyone, heck it might not be for anyone really except the guy who wrote it.  Still, there’s something about Self’s Man Booker nominated novel that screams brilliance, even if it requires a lot of work on the part of the reader. You may throw this one across the room in frustration, you may curse us for suggesting that you pick it up in the first place, but we guarantee that you won’t find another piece of contemporary fiction out there that’s quite like this one.

speaking_from_among_the_bonesSpeaking From Among the Bones
By Alan Bradley

If you’ve kept up with the beloved Flavia de Luce mysteries, then you’re as excited as we are about this release.  Fifth in the series, this novel follows 11 year-old Flavia as she investigates the death of Mr. Collicutt, the local church organist, whose body has mysteriously appeared in the church’s ancient crypt.  This installment of the charming quirky series should hit bookstores at the end of the month.

Tenth_of_DecemberTenth of December
By George Saunders

George Saunders hasn’t published a book in several years, so many folks in the literary community are practically drooling in anticipation of this release.  Tenth of December is a collection of short stories, and if we know George Saunders, it’ll probably be just as satirical and controversial as ever.  You can delve into your own copy on January 8!

Do any of our picks look interesting to you? Which titles are you most looking forward to in January?

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.