20 Books to Look Forward to in 2013

A selection of upcoming book covers 2013
Category: Reading

Judging by the endless introspection across politics, sport and the arts, December seems to be the month in which the west likes to look back at what it has achieved. If that is indeed the case then January is naturally the month where we should cast our gaze forward to the year ahead. Inspired by this sentiment, we’ve sifted through the publishing calendars to bring you this list of 20 upcoming books from some of the world's best-loved authors. Escape the winter chill and start dreaming of hours spent in your favourite fictional worlds.


Bedlam cover


Christopher Brookmyre
February 2013

Brookmyre has chosen the world of video games as the setting for his first foray into science fiction writing, “a world where the pain and fear feels real and from which not even death can offer an escape.” Bedlam is the Scot’s 15th book and is a follow-up to 2011’s Where The Bodies Are Buried.

Pow cover


Mo Yan
Seagull Books
January 2013

The 2012 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature was praised for his “hallucinatory realism” – just what’s required for a Scottish January. His first new novel in English has been described by The Guardian as “a riotous carnival of food, sex and death in rural China”.

Wool cover


Hugh Howey
January 2013

Self-publishing fans will no doubt be aware of this science fiction answer to Fifty Shades. Ridley Scott has already bought the film rights to tell the story of Howey’s dystopian world where human survivors exist in a claustrophobic world of underground silos.

My Brother's Book cover

My Brother’s Book

Maurice Sendak

February 2013

The world of books lost Maurice Sendak in 2012 but will gain a posthumous release from the Where the Wild Things Are author during 2013. A full fifty years after Wild Things was released, My Brother’s Book is an elegy to Jack, whom Sendak credits for his love of drawing.

How to Get Rich cover

How To Get Filthy Rich In Asia

Mohsin Hamid
Knopf Publishing Group
March 2013

The Pakistani author of bestseller The Reluctant Fundamentalist graces our bookshelves again in 2013. Not one to hide from current affairs, Hamid examines the costs and benefits of Asia’s economic transformation through a man’s love for a woman as they rise from rags to riches.

Middle C cover

Middle C

William C. Gass
Knopf Publishing Group
March 2013

Two decades after his masterpiece, The Tunnel, became one of the most critically acclaimed American novels of the nineties, William C. Gass will release Middle C. Asked about his methodical approach to writing, Gass replies, “I write slowly because I write badly. I have to rewrite everything many, many times just to achieve mediocrity."

The Swedish Girl cover

The Swedish Girl

Alex Gray
March 2013

Scottish crime writer and former teacher Alex Gray’s most famous creation DCI Lorimer reaches a landmark 10 books this spring. To celebrate, Gray sends him from the gritty streets of Glasgow to the snow-covered ‘gator’ of Stockholm in his toughest case to date.

Americanah cover


Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
Fourth Estate
April 2013

One of the New Yorker’s “20 under 40” and author of Half A Yellow Sun, Nigerian-born Adiche returns with her third novel. Her publishers promise us a “Fearless, gripping [tale] spanning three continents and numerous lives…a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.”

Childhood of Jesus cover

The Childhood of Jesus

J. M. Coetzee
Harvill Secker
April 2013

The South African author of Disgrace, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature and two-time winner of the Booker Prize returns with the eye-catchingly titled The Childhood of Jesus. A man and boy cross oceans to arrive in a strange land, are wiped clean of their identities yet rebel against the oppressive system they find themselves in.

Life After Life cover

Life After Life

Kate Atkinson
April 2013

Atkinson’s ninth novel arrives in spring to tell the tale of rebirth…many of them.  In this darkly comic book, we follow Ursala Todd as she dies over and over again during the turbulent events of the 20th century.

Roundhouse cover

The Round House

Louise Erdrich
April 2013

Louise Erdrich beat heavyweights Dave Eggers and Junot Diaz to the U.S. National Book Award last year with The Round House -- described by some as the Native American To Kill A Mockingbird. Fans of American fiction will be pre-ordering Erdrich’s 14th novel, which will be published in the UK this spring.

Dead Ever After cover

Dead Ever After

Charlaine Harris
May 2013

Anyone who is hanging in there with True Blood (the TV spin off of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels) will be pleased to hear the end is in sight, with the final installment arriving from Harris’ pen this year – the 13th and final part of this series. It’s time to call time on the Bon Temps.

Khaled Hosseini

And The Mountains Echoed

Khaled Hosseini
May 2013

A place on the bestsellers list for 2013 is already reserved for The Kite Runner author’s latest family saga. Afghan-born Hosseini is also a qualified physician and Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Not too shabby.

Ocean cover

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

Neil Gaiman
Headline Review
June 2013

According to its pre-publicity on Amazon, Gaiman’s new book for grown-ups “reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac -- pure as a dream, delicate as a butterfly's wing, dangerous as a knife in the dark.” You’ll have to read it to find out if that’s true. One thing is certain though, if you want your Gaiman books signed, you’ll need to find him publicising this book as he claims to be doing no more signings after its release.

Trains and Lovers cover

Trains and Lovers

Alexander McCall Smith
June 2013

Rhodesian-born Renaissance man Alexander McCall Smith releases not one but two books during 2013 with The Girl Who Was Thursday set for release in May and Trains and Lovers arriving in June. His first of 2013 will tackle obsessive love, while June’s is a collection tales inspired by rail journeys.

Margaret Atwood

Untitled (MaddAddam Trilogy #3)

Margaret Atwood
Virago Press Ltd
August 2013

Living legend, novelist, literary critic, essayist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood brings her apocalyptic MaddAddam trilogy (Oryx and Crake, The Year Of The Flood) to a close this summer. Twitter is already a-buzz.

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Doctor Sleep

Stephen King
September 2013

King’s much-hyped sequel to The Shining finds a middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy from the original book) battling with his father’s legacy and The True Knot – a group of near immortal travellers looking to capture a 13-year-old girl with…the shining.

Roddy Doyle

The Guts

Roddy Doyle
Jonathan Cape
September 2013

The Irish master of dialogue follows up on The Commitments with The Guts later in 2013. Picking up soul hero Jimmy Rabbitte’s story, we meet the hero of the first book now in his 40s, married with four kids. Rabbitte’s still involved in music through bringing old bands back from the dead but must face his own mortality through the onset of cancer.

Bridget Jones's Diary

New Bridget Jones

Helen Fielding
Jonathan Cape
October 2013

Seventeen years have passed since Fielding gave mishap-prone Bridget Jones to the world and birthed the so-called ‘chick lit’ genre. After selling 15 million copies in 40 countries, the author promises that Bridget, arguably the UK’s most famous singleton of recent times, is now experiencing a “different phase” of life. Apparently, the story begins with some of Bridget’s tweets.

Ian Banks

The Quarry

Iain M. Banks
Little, Brown
October 2013

One of The Time’s ‘50 greatest British writers since 1945’ and Scotland’s best known authors will follow on from The Hydrogen Sonata with The Quarry. The book’s plot is under wraps at the moment but arrives months short of The Wasp Factory’s 30-year anniversary.