Sitting in the sunshine reading a gripping new book is a rewarding and relaxing spring pastime. And now that spring is finally here and the days are becoming longer, lighter, and warmer, there’ll be more opportunities to do just that.
Even if it’s still chilly, you can find a sunny spot in your home, curl up with your book, and be transported to a new world. But the question is, what should you read?
Whether you’re into romance, crime, fantasy, or sci-fi, there are hundreds of great new books that have been released in 2023. While we can’t outline them all here, we’ve picked some of our favourites to get you inspired.
Here are 15 books to add to your spring reading list.
1. Amazing Grace Adams, by Fran Littlewood
Fran Littlewood’s debut novel has been setting the literary world alight since its publication earlier this year, and it won’t take readers long to see why.
Amazing Grace Adams is a story about the impossible demands of modern life, the horror of menopause, and the trials and tribulations of womanhood, motherhood, and marriage.
One day in London, stuck in traffic and on her way to buy her ungrateful daughter a birthday cake, Grace Adams snaps – but rather than walking away from life, she decides to walk towards it.
Funny, moving, and unapologetic, the Amazing Grace Adams hums with the long-suppressed rage of a midlife woman who refuses to disappear. A powerful story of redemption, discovery, and starting over.
2. The Shards, by Brett Easton Ellis
The author of American Psycho returned this year with a new novel that intriguingly blends fact and fiction.
The protagonist is none other than the author himself, who appears here as a 17-year-old high old school student in 1980s Los Angeles. When a new student joins their school, Ellis finds himself becoming obsessed with him – but at the same time, a serial killer is moving ever closer.
The Shards is both darkly funny and shockingly violent, and the increasing feeling of suspense will have you turning the 600-or-so pages faster than you imagine.
Hypnotic and unsettling, this novel is a masterful exploration of obsession, jealousy, and the empty feelings of teenage privilege…as well as the dangers of murderous rage.
3. You Are Not Alone, by Cariad Lloyd
For years, the pain of bereavement was almost a taboo subject, but recently, the way that society talks about grief has changed.
As the host of the popular Griefcast podcast, comedian Cariad Lloyd was partly responsible for this shift – and in her book, You Are Not Alone, she explores the grieving process, and society’s changing attitudes to death.
Aged just 15 when her father died, Lloyd understands the complex struggles that follow death, and You Are Not Alone acts as a roadmap to grief – albeit one that’s just as funny as it is moving.
Packed with stories from celebrities she’s interviewed, as well as her own experiences, this powerful and inspiring book is a must-read for anyone struggling with grief.
4. Victory City, by Salman Rushdie
As one of the world’s most acclaimed authors, Salman Rushdie needs little introduction – particularly since narrowly surviving an assassination attempt last year.
Whether or not you’ve read Rushdie’s most famous novel, The Satanic Verses, his newest, Victory City, contains all the hallmarks of Rushdie’s best work, from exuberant prose to mystical adventure.
Victory City tells the story of nine-year-old Pampa Kampana who lives in fourteenth-century India. After her mother dies, Pampa is informed by a goddess that she’ll be key to the rise of a wondrous city, Bisnaga – which means ‘victory city’ – but not only that; she’ll also be tasked to give women agency in a patriarchal world.
A joyous, enchanting, and inspiring epic.
5. I Have Some Questions for You, by Rebecca Makkai
Pulitzer-nominated author of The Great Believers, Rebecca Makkai, has returned with an impressive, complex, and deeply compelling crime novel – but this is no ordinary murder mystery.
This is the story of film professor and podcaster Bodie Kane, who returns to her old New Hampshire high school to teach a two-week course.
While Bodie is keen to forget her painful past – including the murder of a classmate – her return to her old school draws her back to it, and into the mysteries she’d thought she’d solved.
A transfixing novel that’s also a critique of how the true crime genre exploits real people and objectifies victims.
6. Pineapple Street, by Jenny Jackson
If you’re looking for a bit of escapism, then Jenny Jackson’s new novel Pineapple Street might be the book for you.
Set in New York City’s leafy Brooklyn Heights, this is the story of three women from the staggeringly wealthy Stockton family. Glamorous, funny, and intelligent, the book perfectly captures a particular slice of New York society – the insanely privileged 1%.
While this is a lighthearted book, it expertly tackles the complexities of family dynamics, the vast chasms between socioeconomic groups, the intensity of first love, and the age-old question: can money make you happy?
An instant New York Times bestseller, Pineapple Street has been billed as the book Jane Austen would have written if she’d been living in NYC in the 21st century!
7. I Will Find You, by Harlan Coben
If you’re a fan of crime fiction, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the international bestselling author Harlan Coben.
I Will Find You, his newest novel, is a thrilling page-turner of a book, full of all the twists and turns Coben fans have come to expect – and you’ll be kept guessing until the very end of this gripping story.
David and Cheryl Burroughs seem like the perfect family: they’re married with a three-year-old son named Matthew, and have a beautiful house in the suburbs. Yet when Matthew goes missing, David is wrongfully convicted of his murder.
All hope seems lost, but years later, David hears Matthew is still alive…and plans to break out of prison to find his son and clear his own name.
8. I’m Sorry You Feel that Way, by Rebecca Wait
As a winner of both The Times and The Guardian’s Best Fiction Book of the Year, I’m Sorry You Feel That Way has been making waves since its release last year. And if you’re into books about family drama and the intricacies of sibling relationships, there’s a good chance you’ll love it.
This is the story of twins Alice and Hanna, their brother Michael, and their dominating mother Celia.
The novel begins at the funeral of Celia’s sister, yet at this family reunion, it becomes clear that a dramatic rift has occurred among the family members – a catastrophe that nobody speaks of, but has shaped everything.
Wait’s writes with warmth, clarity, and wit about mental illness, intergenerational trauma, and dysfunctional familial relationships. A wonderfully bittersweet story.
9. Trespasses, by Louise Kennedy
Another book that’s won numerous accolades, as well as being longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023, is Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses.
Set in 1975 Northern Ireland, this beautiful book is based around an affair between Cushla, a young Catholic woman, and Michael, a married older Protestant man from Belfast.
As the two try to navigate their clandestine relationship, the violence around them begins to change their lives forever. This is the story of forbidden love during a violent and dangerous time – a time of petrol bombs, rubber bullets, and escalating town tensions.
Intense, harrowing, and written with an unflinching sense of conviction, Trespasses is a truly unforgettable debut.
10. The New Life, by Tom Crewe
In his role as an editor at the London Review of Books, Tom Crewe learned a lot about what makes a good novel – and in The New Life, he puts his expertise to good use.
Set in 1894, the characters in The New Life are based upon real Victorian people: scholar, poet, and critic John Addington Symonds, and trailblazing sexologist Havelock Ellis.
When John and Henry decide to write a pioneering book about the lives of sexual ‘inverts’ together, they unwittingly throw themselves, and their loved ones, into danger.
At a time when controversial relationships were seen as criminal immorality, the two men must weigh up what they’re prepared to sacrifice for their vision of a better world.
A fascinating and realistic historical novel.
11. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel
If you’re a fan of science fiction then you’ll definitely want to pick up this next book.
An instant Sunday Times bestseller, Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility investigates the idea of parallel worlds, time travel, and possibilities.
As the story hurtles through the centuries, this ingeniously plotted and deeply absorbing novel will have you racing through the pages yourself.
Sea of Tranquility follows four different stories at four different times. There’s Edwin, who’s crossing the Atlantic by steamship in 1912; there’s Olive, who leaves her moonbase home in the 23rd-century doe Earth; there’s a teenage girl who goes into the Vancouver woods in 2020; and there’s a detective in another century investigating how these timelines interconnect.
An utterly unputdownable book.
12. How to Stand Up to a Dictator, by Maria Ressa
If you prefer reading non-fiction books about history and politics, then How to Stand Up to a Dictator might be the book for you.
Written by Maria Ressa, the journalist who won the Nobel peace prize in 2021 for her reporting on the former president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, How to Stand Up to a Dictator is part memoir, part history book, and part call to arms.
In this brave and inspiring book, Ressa recounts how a network of disinformation has crept around the world, impacting everything from Brexit to the US Capitol Hill attack, and Russian and Chinese cyber-warfare to our own online clicks and votes.
While Ressa grimly writes “It’s going to get worse before it gets better”, there is still hope, and her book – and her courage – is profoundly inspiring.
13. The Trees, by Percival Everett
Opening with a series of violent murders in a rural town in Mississippi, Percival Everett’s The Trees is a powerful and important novel that tackles deeply rooted social and political issues.
When two detectives from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation arrive in town, they’re met with resistance from almost everyone, including the sheriff, coroner, and the racist locals.
The murders are inexplicably puzzling because at each crime scene, there are two dead bodies – and the second is of a man who resembles Emmett Till.
Weaponising the common tropes in horror, comedy, and detective fiction, The Trees is a Booker-longlisted novel that explores the painful history of lynching in America, and despite the subject matter, this bold book is consistently funny too.
14. Birnam Wood, by Eleanor Catton
Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries, and her new book looks set to be just as impactful.
Set in 2017 New Zealand, Birnam Wood is a gripping psychological thriller that’s about as multi-layered as it gets: part meditation on desire, and part ecological thriller, at times it also reads like an anti-capitalist manifesto, or a study on surveillance technology.
After an earthquake rocks a national park, two ostensibly incompatible elements are thrown together: a guerrilla gardening collective, Birnam Wood, and a survivalist American billionaire – who also happens to be a sociopath.
This intelligent, funny, and self-aware book explores the fascinating moral battles that arise from two competing philosophies.
15. Spare, by Prince Harry
Few books have ever dominated cultural discourse the way Prince Harry’s Spare did.
While all the sensationalist coverage in the media may make you feel as though you’ve already read this memoir, it’s a lot deeper and more detailed than you might think – and the leaked bombshells are only a small sum of this book’s parts.
In Spare, Prince Harry tells his own story with startling directness. Covering everything from the death of his mother Princess Diana to his decade in the military and his relationship with Meghan Markle, this controversial memoir is ultimately the story of a young man haunted by tragedy, public scrutiny, and family dysfunction.
Now the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time, Spare takes particular aim at the British media.
Whether you’re into science fiction, romantic dramas, fantasy, crime thrillers, or political nonfiction, there are hundreds of excellent books that have come out recently – and these are just 15 of our favourites!
Now the days are getting longer and lighter, the thought of finding a sunny spot outside to get stuck into a good book is increasingly appealing, and with so many fabulous titles to choose from, the only problem will be deciding which books to read!
Whether you want to transport yourself to a fascinating time in history, learn about the inner workings of the royal family, or immerse yourself in an intense family drama, there’s a new book out there for every literary preference.
For more reading inspiration, you might want to check out the books, literature, and writing section of our website.