The Best New Books This Year (So Far): January 2019 Book Releases


One month into 2019, and we are all geared up to list the best new books this year … or at least the best new books this year so far!

After a stellar slate of 2018 new book releases, I was worried that 2019 might not be able to compare. But the book world keeps on turning, and 2019 looks like it will be another stand out year.

We combed through all the January 2019 book releases to pick out what we think might be the best new books this year. A few I’ve been lucky enough to read already, but most are coming from a combination of what’s caught our eye and what’s getting buzz.

Deciding a list of the best new books this years feels intimidating. We spent hours debating what to put on our best books of 2018 list. That’s why in 2019, we want to start in January.

So here are my thoughts on the best new books this year, or more accurately, the best new books of January 2019.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase anything, at no additional cost to you, we receive a small commission. For more information, read our Disclosures.

Latest Book Releases That We Have Already Read

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King
by Holly Black

I was lucky enough to earn a free gift card at Target, and I decided to use it to purchase The Wicked King on its publication date. The sequel to last year’s hit The Cruel Prince picks up with Jude behind the scenes running the Faerie Kingdom. I devoured this book in one sitting, and I have to say, I actually enjoyed it more than the last. And that ending! I did not see it coming. If you love YA fantasy, be sure to pick up this hottest of new book releases. It’s definitely earned it’s place at the top of the best new books this year. Read more →


48 Hours by William R. Forstchen

48 Hours
by William R. Forstchen

I really enjoyed reading William R. Forstchen’s book One Second After, so I was thrilled to receive an Advance Review Copy of his latest book. In 48 hours, a massive solar flare is coming, with another event – a Coronal Mass Ejection – following close behind that might wipe out civilization as we know it. In the face of mass extinction, who gets to choose who lives and who dies? I always learn a ton from Forstchen’s well-researched books. While I appreciated the moral dilemmas raised, the overall story fell flat for me. Read more →


Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Two Can Keep A Secret
by Karen M. McManus

Apparently I put my library request in for this book early because my hold was ready as soon at this one hit the shelves. Though marketed like its a sequel to One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret is actually a standalone novel. When twins Ellery and Ezra move to the small Northeastern town of Echo Ridge, they are caught up in the town’s dark past. Two decades ago, their aunt disappeared and just 5 years ago, the homecoming queen was murdered. Now someone is threatening the current homecoming court. Overall, I didn’t find this one quite as strong as One of Us Is Lying, and wouldn’t recommend it unless you really like young adult murder mysteries. Read more →

January 2019 New Releases From Book of the Month Club

I just joined The Book of the Month Club this year, and I’m so excited to start getting books every month. Here’s how it works – each month, they pick 5 books and you get to choose one book. 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, you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get a free book!

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

The Far Field
by Madhuri Vijay

Madhuri Vijay’s debut novel was a Book of the Month club pick in December, and it’s not hard to see why. After her mother’s death, Shalini sets out from Bangalore determined to find answers from someone she thinks knows more to the story. Instead, she is thrust into the volatile politics of the Kashmir region and the complicated history of a local family she has come to love. I love reading novels set in different cultures, so I’m excited to read this January 2019 new release. Read more →


Maid by Stephanie Land

by Stephanie Land

I enjoy memoirs that expose a different aspect of life, and Maid fits right in with the likes of Hunger and Educated, though I’m not sure it will hold up to either. One of the latest book releases picked for January’s Book of the Month Club is Stephanie Land’s memoir of her years working as a maid. Exploring poverty and class differences in America, Land tells the stories of being among the overworked and underpaid segments of America. I’m interested to see what her experience can teach me about the world at large. Read more →


An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl
by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are back after writing the 2018 bestseller The Wife Between Us. In their latest book release, Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study by Dr. Shields. But as the study grows more intense and intrusive, she quickly realizes she’s gotten in way over her head. The Book of the Month Club chose this as one of their December selections, so we’re curious to see how it holds up against The Wife Between UsRead more →

Read along with us. Join Book of the Month and get a free book!

New Book Releases On Our To-Read List

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers
by Karen Thompson Walker

On top of the pretty cover, the premise for this new book release sounds fascinating. In a small college town in California, a student falls asleep and can’t be woken up. When another and then another girl suffers the same fate, the town begins to panic. Why are people suddenly falling asleep, and why do their brains show an unusual amount of activity? If the writing can live up to the premise, this one will certainly deserve a spot on the best new books this year. Read more →


The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

The Only Woman in the Room
by Marie Benedict

Among the best new books this year would have to be Marie Benedict’s fictionalized account of actress Hedy Lamarr. Having risen to fame as an actress and wife of an Austrian arms dealer, Hedy realizes she must escape both her husband and the Germans. Fleeing to America, she restyles herself Hedy Lamarr and find success not only in Hollywood but also as a ground-breaking scientist. Read more →


The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

The Lost Girls of Paris
by Kim Jenoff

World War II historical fiction is my favorite, so I’m terribly excited about Pam Jenoff’s newest book release. In a story inspired by true events, Grace Healy discovers an abandoned suitcase in Grand Central Station in 1946. Inside she finds a dozen photographs of different women. Grace soon learns that these 12 women were sent as couriers and radio operators in occupied Europe during the war. Now she is determined to learn the truth about what happened to these brave women. Read more →


Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

by Soniah Kamal

I heard of this book on Sarah’s Bookshelves new podcast and am super curious to see how it plays out. It could be one of the best new books of January 2019 – or it could completely tank. Soniah Kamal’s retelling of the classic Pride and Prejudice is set in modern-day Pakistan. At the biggest wedding their small town has ever hosted, Mrs. Binat is determined to snag husbands for her five daughters. Though Jena seems to have caught the eye of an eligible young man, the wealthy Mr. Darsee is clearly unimpressed with Alys and her siblings. I enjoyed the Bollywood movie Bride and Prejudice, so I’m curious to see how this story can differentiate itself. Read more →


The Au Pair by Emma Rous

The Au Pair
by Emma Rous

In her debut novel, Emma Rous describes the story of Seraphine Mayes. In the wake of her father’s death, Seraphine find a photograph of her family with her mother holding just one baby. But Seraphine has a twin brother named Danny. And on the day they were born, their mother committed suicide and the au pair fled. Who is the baby in the picture and what really happened the day of her birth? Read more →


The Gown by Jennifer Robson

The Gown
by Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson’s latest book release was recommended to us by a fellow book blogger, but sadly we can’t remember which one. In The Gown, Robson takes a peek behind the scenes at the women involved in making Queen Elizabeth’s famous wedding dress. I love historical fiction novels because I always have so much fun researching fact from fiction. If you are a fan of royal weddings, be sure to try out this new book. Read more →


The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

The Winter of the Witch
by Katherine Arden

Katherine Arden is back with the third book of the Winternight trilogy. Combining Russian fairy tales with fantasy, the series has won much acclaim from readers. In this final book, Vasya, holding the fate of two worlds in her hands, must look to her past to discover a way to save Russia and the magical world. We’ve heard good buzz from fellow book bloggers, so we are thinking we might have to pick up this series this year. Read more →


The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

The Light Over London
by Julia Kelly

You know how much I love World War II historical fiction, so I couldn’t resist adding The Light Over London to my list of intriguing new book releases. When Cara Hargraves comes across a haunting diary from WWII and a photo of a young woman in uniform, she knows she must investigate. From there, she learns of 19-year-old Louise Keene who was not content to wait out the war. While I expect this novel is more romance than history, it will be fun to see how it plays out. Read more →

Don’t Buy the Hype: Read This Not That
Read This Not That 2019: Our List of Overrated Books
19 Gripping Books You Can’t Put Down Once You Begin

Best New Books of the Year – Young Adult

We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai

We Are Displaced
by Malala Yousafzai

Amid our charged debate on immigration steps Malala Yousafzai’s new collection of stories of refugees. Starting with her own experience of being an internally displaced person, Malala then goes on to share stories of other refugees she has met. An eye-opening account of what it’s like to live in a war-torn country and then lose all sense of home, Malala’s latest book is one that we can’t wait to read. Read more →


King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars
by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is back with one of the most-anticipated new books this year so far. The bestselling YA fantasy author has another book set in her Grishaverse. King of Scars follows young king Nikolai Lantsov as he fights to keep his kingdom safe from enemies without. But each day his own dark magic grows stronger. Now he must journey to the deepest concentration of magic to save both his kingdom and himself. Fans of Leigh Bardugo would definitely tell you King of Scars belongs at the top of the young adult fiction list of best new books this year. Read more →


The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves
by Roshani Choksi

In 1889, Parisian treasure-hunter Séverin Montagnet-Alarie is hired to retrieve an ancient artifact for the Order of Babel, a powerful secret society that has refuses Séverin’s claim at membership. Now he must ally himself with a diverse group of experts – an engineer, a historian, a dancer and his own lovable brother. Will they find the object and return Séverin to his rightful heritage. Or will they die trying?  Read more →


A Curse So Dark and Lovely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely
by Brigid Kemmerer

In a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer takes a foray into YA fantasy with her latest book release. Due to a curse, Prince Rhen is forced to relive the autumn of his 18th year over and over again until he can get a girl to fall in love with him. Except at the end of each fall, he turns into a vicious beast. Is Harper Lacy – the often underestimated girl with cerebral palsy sucked into the kingdom from Washington, D.C. – the one to break the spell? And is there more at work than just a curse? Read more →


Evermore by Sara Holland

by Sara Holland

Landing on the New York Times bestseller list for young adult hardcover in its first week earned Evermore a spot on our list of the best new books of the year. In the sequel to Everless, Jules Ember is forced to dive into the legends she grew up hearing as a child about the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. What she thought were just tales turn out to be stories of her own past. Does Evermore deserve a its spot on our list, or is it one of those over-hyped bestsellers? Only time will tell. Read more →

What do you think are the best new books this year so far?

Best New Books This Year (So Far) // Find out all the January 2019 new releases that we think are the best new books this year ... or at least the best new books this year so far!

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  • Reply Sarah's Book Shelves January 28, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Thanks for mentioning my podcast! And I’m planning to read the Benedict also…hoping my library ends up buying it.

    • Reply Rachael February 2, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      You’re welcome. I really enjoyed listening to it!

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