One of the joys of being part of a bookselling community is that you never know where your next life-changing read will come from. Could be in a message from a bookseller pal, saying 'this is right up your street' or a conversation on the shop floor. Will it be the work of someone you've never heard of before - a voice that finds you where you needed to be found? It's unexplored territory, as it is for any reader.
But we can always guess. Here's what a few of the Lighthouse team members are looking forward to in 2022, from long-awaited sequels to debut collections, and you can pre-order most of them already!
This time last year I felt like reading was like oxygen, and I couldn't handle not having a book in my hands. This year, I'm definitely off to a slower start - which is pretty nice in its own way. And yet, there are some books that I am itching to get my hands on - First up - Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. If you've ever asked me for a sci-fi/fantasy recommendation in the shop, I will probably have recommended this series to you. It's absolutely brilliant, fun, biting, a bit brutal, and is about lesbian necromancers in space!! We haven't met Nona, the main character of this story before, and in fact this book is a new, surprise addition to the previously-three-part-series. Apparently publishers loved Nona's character so much in Alecto the Ninth (the unpublished finale to the series), that they asked Muir to give her her own book - consider me intrigued!
Secondly - Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong. There are a few writers who I follow quite closely because I feel like their work stays with me for quite a while after I finish reading it - Vuong is one of these writers. His poetry is elegant and I still talk about On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous when people ask about beautifully written books. (I think there's a proof of Time is a Mother knocking about somewhere with a Lighthouse staff member ... I will try to make a deal with them).
Trois! - Sabrina Mahfouz is releasing a part-memoir-part-essay-collection-slash-history-and-polemic called These Bodies of Water: Notes on the British Empire, the Middle East and Where We Meet. You may know Sabrina from such works as The Things I Would Tell You, The Good Immigrant, and How You Might Know Me, all frankly stellar reads. So I trust her to write a fascinating history of the relationship between the British Empire and the Middle East through the waterways and coastline which were so integral to establishing and maintaining power.
For starters I'm looking forward to anything and everything Hajar Press and Monstrous Regiment bring out - sadly as with many indies they don't release their lists so early so it's still a game of wait and see!
There are new collections from some of my favourite poets - Hannah Lavery, Roseanne Watt and Alycia Pirmohamed. I can't wait to get my hands on be/longing: understories of nature, family and home by Scottish artist and nature writer Amanda Thomson as well as Chitra Ramaswamy's Homelands, which I'm sure will be full of her characteristic heart and humour and gift for anecdotes and character drawings.
I just finished Jessica Gaitán Johannesson's astonishing The Nerves and Their Endings: Essays on Crisis and Response which page by page I felt physically expand my capacity to feel and care, extending my own nerve endings to planet and people in a way I hadn't even conceived of. She offers quiet truths and tangible hope in navigating climate collapse, and with that crisis so urgent I can't believe I have to wait til it's out in August to throw it at readers. On the fiction front I am most eager to get stuck into Ever Dundas' Hell Sans - I loved her debut Goblin and can't wait to see what she has conjured in the years since!
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi is one of my favourite books ever! I just love it so so much so I am super excited to read Bitter, which focuses on my favourite characters in Pet (granted there were quite a few of them because there were just so many awesome lovable characters in that book)- cannot wait to know more!! Another book coming out in 2022 that I am extremely excited about is Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde. It sounds absolutely amazing, it’s about ‘vagabonds’, humans and spirits of Lagos who live in the margins of society: the downtrodden, the queer, the poor…
Where to begin! This year, I am thrilled for the release of You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi, in which the non-binary genre-expanding author turns their hand to the romance genre, and, in the same vein, I absolutely cannot WAIT to read I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston, because the thing I always always want is bisexual romance. Having been lucky enough to spend the winter break with my family, speaking English and German and Spanish over shared plates of food, I am also very much looking forward to reading There Are More Things by Yara Rodrigues Fowler, which follows a friendship between Brazil and the UK, to spend time exploring the space between languages, and what happens when they meet.
Find part II of our 2022 preview HERE!