13 books I can’t wait to read in 2016.

Over the past few weeks I’ve loved taking a look back at my favorite books of 2015. Now I’m ready to look ahead to the books being published in the coming year. This is nowhere close to an exhaustive list, but a small sampling of the books I can’t wait to read this year.

A note about this list: when I share a book list post here on MMD, I usually read all the books first. Not so with this list of coming releases. I have high hopes for 2016’s new titles, but I haven’t read them yet.

Books I can't wait to read in 2016
The Travelers

The Travelers

Pavone's third novel of international intrigue picks up where The Expats left off. Kirkus calls this "a movie waiting to happen." Publication date March 8, 2016. More info →
Flight of Dreams

Flight of Dreams

I loved Lawhon's historical fiction debut The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress. Her second novel puts an interesting spin on a tragic historical event: the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. An entertaining, suspenseful tale told from multiple points of view. Publication date February 23, 2016. More info →
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

This is the fourth installment of the Jane Austen Project, which invites contemporary authors to rework Jane Austen's novels for modern times. I'm terrified to read this update on P&P but I can't miss it, either. From the publisher: "Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale." Publication date April 19, 2016. More info →
Mother-Daughter Book Camp (The Mother-Daughter Book Club #7)

Mother-Daughter Book Camp (The Mother-Daughter Book Club #7)

My daughters are beside themselves with excitement for this seventh and final installment of the Mother Daughter Book Club series, and by extension, I am, too. Publication date May 3, 2016. More info →
A Small Porch

A Small Porch

I adore Wendell Berry's writing, in any genre, and a new poetry collection is cause for celebration. Publication date April 12, 2016. More info →
The Summer Before the War

The Summer Before the War

From the author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. I can't do better than Annie Barrows's description: "Helen Simonson’s characters enchant us, her English countryside beguiles us, and her historical intelligence keeps us at the edge of our seats. This luminous story of a family, a town, and a world in their final moments of innocence is as lingering and lovely as a long summer sunset.” Publication date March 22, 2016. More info →
Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons

Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons

This is a journal of sorts of Christie Purifoy's first year at the farmhouse her family of six moved into in rural Pennsylvania. I read an early version of this manuscript last year and can't wait to read the finished version. Publication date February 2, 2016. More info →
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Confession: this is the one book on this list I've already read. It's reminiscent of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in that its all about the power of books and the power of community. When young Swedish girl Sara arrives in small town Iowa to find things are NOT as she expected, she takes the logical next step: she opens a bookstore. The plot is a little thin, but the bookish moments make up for it. Publication date January 19, 2016. More info →


I loved The Lunar Chronicles, and was excited to just find out last week about Meyer's next novel. She describes it like this: " A prequel to Alice in Wonderland, HEARTLESS will tell the tale of how a marquis’s teenage daughter became the infamous Queen of Hearts. It will be a story of whimsy and madness, passion and tragedy, ravens and writing desks." Publication date November 8, 2016. More info →
Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

When Shauna announced this book, she said it was "a spiritual journey from exhaustion to love, comparison to connection .... I’m discovering, inch by inch, a new way of spiritual living–less striving, more receiving. More love, less hustle. This is changing everything. Everything. " I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. Publication date August 9, 2016. More info →
Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

This WWII historical novel is based on real events and real people. It landed on my list when a bookseller in Raleigh gushed about it to me, saying this interweaving tale of three women battling Nazi Germany is impossible to put down and deeply moving. Publication date April 5, 2016 More info →

What are the books YOU can’t wait to read in 2016?

A lot of great books are being published in 2016. Here are the ones I can't wait to get my hands on.


Leave A Comment
  1. Christine says:

    Thank you for these titles! Just what I needed for that category of the reading challenge. There are some great sounding books here. Particularly looking forward to Eligible, Heartless, and The Summer Before the War. Also, I keep seeing Wendell Berry on your blog but had never heard of him before. What are his books comparable to and where would you recommend starting to try him out? Thanks!

    • Laura says:

      Berry is a farmer, poet, novelist who advocates for small towns and really makes you think about why we do things the way we do. He’s like nobody else! His essays are fantastic

    • Anne says:

      Wendell Berry reminds me of Marilynne Robinson and Wallace Stegner. He writes thoughtful stories characterized by beautiful prose. I’d start with Jayber Crow (it’s my favorite) or his essay collection, What Are People For?

  2. Sara K. says:

    I am looking forward to Heartless for sure! I’m on the fence about Flight of Dreams. I thought The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress was good, but it lacked a connection between me and the characters. I didn’t feel attached to them at all. Love the idea of a book about the Hindenburg though!

    Lilac Girls also sounds great! This year I’m trying to focus on reading some books that I’ve always meant to read rather than a lot of new books. It may change as the year goes by 🙂

    • Jess says:

      I felt the same way about The Wife,The Maid and the Mistress. At the end of the story I was more or less glad to just get it over with even with the ending being a surprise. I have to say I am not super excited about her new one. It won’t make it to the TBR list unless I see a lot of people loving it.

      • Sara K says:

        I’m working on Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I sae the movie several years ago, but I still want to read the book. I hope to read some of the Narnia books this year. Amazingly I’ve only read about half of the series. I’m also hoping to read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Maybe this is the year I finally read Mary Stewart’s King Arthur series that my dad has been suggesting for years! These are just the books that come to mind, but my list of books to read gets longer faster than I can read 😉

    • Kristin Fields says:

      I read an advanced copy of Flight of Dreams. I really enjoyed it! It is really best for historical fiction buffs. If you like a mystery with a factual base and lots of detail, you will like it. The author really lets you into the lives of the characters, who are all real historical people by the way. Their true fates are woven into the story. You also get a very detailed idea of the Hindenburg, which was fascinating! Do try it!

  3. Jessica C says:

    Great selections — I will have to add some of these to my TBR list — so many, many wonderful books to read!! Definitely wish sometimes that I could just read all day every day 🙂

  4. Victoria says:

    I honestly haven’t even looked at books scheduled to be published this year yet. I have a few favorite authors whose new releases I always jump on, but I haven’t gine digging for updateson any of them. Up until I started using good reads and blogging about books the ONLY time I read or learned about New Releases was when I saw them at my small town library or if I happened to be browsing at Costco or an actual bookstore. That has changed soooo much, but at the beginning of the year, I’m always stuck on the old default.

    I kind of like the element of surprise. It’s like the Christmas morning of books to happen on a new release by accident.

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m planning to read Flight of Dreams and the Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend this year also 🙂
    I made a similar post on my blog of my top 10 books to read this year, including The Readers of Broken Wheel, Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra and Wherever There is Light by Peter Golden.

    • Anne says:

      I *almost* included Tell Me Three Things on this list! And I have TWO copies of The Things We Keep on my TBR shelf right now. I keep hearing buzz about it, but with Alzheimer’s in my family to say the plot line totally freaks me out is an understatement.

  6. I’ve been waiting for your post for books published this year so I can pick one for the challenge. Oh my…..I don’t think I’ll be able to pick just one! My to-read list just grew bigger! LOL The Readers of Broken Wheel definitely sounds like a book I would enjoy. Night Driving has piqued my interest. I’ve not read When We Were on Fire. Should I read that first? The Summer Before the War, Heartless, and Lilac Girls: A Novel all sound like they would be good.

    • Anne says:

      When We Were on Fire was terrific. Why not read it first? (Although I haven’t read Night Driving yet and don’t have a feel for if they’re better read in order.)

  7. Jessica says:

    There are several authors I’ve really enjoyed on here (Wendell Berry, Pavone and Niequist). I had no idea they had new books coming out. Much to look forward too!

  8. Anne says:

    It seems like there are lots of good titles on here! I learned about Elizabeth Esther’s new book on Goodreads the other day, and I am personally looking forward to the MDBC selection regardless of the fact that I am 38 years old, haha! 🙂 I just read Bread and Wine (my first of hers), so her new book sounds good. The Christie Purifoy book sounds very good (hey, she’s right above me! 😉 ), and I need to read to read Addie Zierman’s first book….but her second sounds good!

  9. Donna says:

    Hi Anne,
    Great picks! I am also really looking forward to The Travelers. I still need to read The Accident.
    Re: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. I’m pretty sure it came out sometime last year. I remember spotting it on the shelf at the bookstore. Maybe it was only released here in Canada.
    Happy reading!

  10. liz n says:

    I see two books that will fulfill two categories of the 2016 reading challenge for me!

    *Adds books to list*

    *Returns to current book*

    *Remembers there is laundry that needs folding and reluctantly sets book aside*

  11. Laura says:

    These look good! I’m looking forward to Jonathan Sadfer Foer’s new one- Here I Am, Anne Tyler’s revamp of The Taming of the Shrew, and The Lives of Elves by Muriel Barbery. And maybe The Queen of the Night by Chee.

  12. Raela says:

    I can’t wait for the next Susanna Kearsley book! And I always read everything by Lauren Willig. And Simone St. James. I highly recommend all three of these authors.

    Several historical mystery series I’m looking for the next entries in: Victoria Speedwell by Deanna Raybourn, Lady Darby by Anna Lee Huber, and Amory Ames by Ashely Weaver.

    And, of course, some YA. Agree with you about Heartless. Dying for the next Leigh Bardugo book to follow up Six of Crows and Sabaa Tahir’s follow up to An Ember in the Ashes. Both of the next Sarah J Maas books. The next Illuminae Book by Amie Kaufman and the next Rae Carson book.

    New authors: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor and America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray.

  13. Jill Koly says:

    I’m super excited for Eligible. I’ve been tracking that one for a while now. I usually don’t care for modern retellings, but have been pleasantly surprised by the other Jane Austen Project books. Plus I really liked Sittenfeld’s other books.

  14. Anna says:

    My kids and I read all of Rick Riordan’s books, and he has a new one coming out in May, “The Trials of Apollo.” I’m also looking forward to “Die Like an Eagle” the next in the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews and Louise Penny’s next book in the Inspector Gamanche series.

    Definitely wanting to read “The Travelers” and “Present over Perfect.” You’ve also given me more titles to add to my TBR list. (which should probably be called books that I want to read but will probably only get to a small fraction in this lifetime.) I’m interested in the Pride and Prejudice retelling, but hesitant. I wasn’t impressed with Emma by Alexander McCall Smith. I love his books, and I thought that would be a great combo, but it didn’t really work.

  15. Florence says:

    I’m looking forward to Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling. Since it comes out January 19, I don’t have long to wait.

    I’ve added The Summer before the War to my list because I so enjoyed Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.

    I foresee many pleasant hours of reading in 2016 for all of us.

  16. Jules says:

    I’m looking forward to Susan Meissner’s new book- it came out last week but I have yet to read it. I’m also impatiently waiting for the third installment of The 5th Wave series. And, now thanks to you I know Ariel Lawhon will have a new book out too so I’m excited to read that book too.

  17. Leigh Kramer says:

    I have been out of the loop on new releases so I’m glad you wrote this! I didn’t know about half of these. I had not heard about Heartless and since I finished reading Winter a few days ago, I’m over the moon that I won’t have to wait too long before I can read another Marissa Meyer creation.

  18. Anne, you are amazing how you stay on top of so many books and authors! What a wonderful service you provide that I appreciate so much. I already have a towering stack of TBR, but I will be checking my little local library for the ones on this list. A book I saw on display there today is a favorite of mine: The Waiting: The True Story of a Lost Child, a Lifetime of Longing, and a Miracle for a Mother Who Never Gave Up Feb 2, 2015 by Cathy LaGrow and Cindy Coloma
    Cindy Coloma is a longtime friend of mine, and The Waiting offers an amazing story that is well written. It has 557 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.9!

      • Come to think of it, Anne, I don’t think I have seen an average rating that high either. The Waiting is truly a wonderful read and one that has stayed with me. Another book I enjoyed is an older one by Marjorie Rawlings called The Sojourner, her final novel published in 1953; an Amazon reviewer called it her “forgotten masterpiece.” While it may be too “slow” for today’s readers, the characters stay with you, and you are truly swept away to another place and another time. Read the five-star reviews on Amazon, and I think you’ll be convinced that it is a worthy read. I was so grateful I picked it up at a used book sale!

  19. Paula says:

    Heartless is definitely on my list. And the final installment of Stephen King’s Bill Hodges series. I long for it and dread it at the same time.

    And Oh! There’s also a Lunar Chronicles short story collection coming out in February – Star’s Above! Can’t forget that! 🙂

  20. Such a great list! I loved The Summer Before the War and Flight of Dreams, and am SO looking forward to Night Driving and Roots and Sky. And MDBC book 7!

    I’m finally going to read Crossing to Safety this year, and Searching for Sunday, and so many more books (I’m sure). 😉 I’m also looking forward to the new Maisie Dobbs mystery, Ruta Sepetys’ latest YA novel, Amy Cuddy’s Presence (just out), and Eleanor Brown’s novel The Light of Paris.

  21. Jenn Warren says:

    Anne how can I get become your “friend” on Goodreads? It would save me time, since I try lots of what you read/recommend.

  22. Julia says:

    This looks like an awesome list! Here are two I can’t wait to read: The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron and Brush of Wings( 3rd book in Angels Walking Series) by Karen Kingsbury.

  23. Serenity Rose says:

    Some very interesting titles to put on my list! Thanks! I would like to add one to yours–The Mubwon Chronicles. It will be out next week, but I got to read an advanced copy. It is science fiction/fantasy by a new author. Very interesting!

  24. Christina says:

    I’m looking forward to the latest book by Laurie R. King, The Murder of Mary Russell, which comes out on Tuesday! I like to wait until school is out to dive into one of her books, though, as a sort of gift to myself. Maybe I’ll make it to April vacation this time (two weeks and counting)! : )

  25. Jimi says:

    Have you read The Travelers yet? I just finished and am so curious what you thought. For the record, I loved his first two books.

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