January ’23 Nonfiction Releases

New year, same us. You already know that this list is procured with the love and attention of a proud bookworm.

5 min readJan 9, 2023


You may have read the nonfiction released in December (just in time for your final Christmas gifts) or even trending nonfiction BookTok titles, and now you’re here scouring for new January 2023 nonfiction releases.

Some of these will be included in our monthly reviews, believe me, I’ve got my pre-order for Pico Iyer’s The Half Known Life as it’s said to be absolutely gut-wrenching, and misery is right up my alley! You might also find a quick review of An Yu’s Ghost Music on our Mediumand Goodreads soon after I’ve taken several days to digest its mastery.

Ghost Music by An Yu

Ghost Music is set in contemporary Beijing, exploring themes of loss and disappointment. Song Yan has given up on her career as a concert pianist, longing for a child with a husband who rebuffs her desires. When her mother-in-law comes to stay, this story becomes about two women bonding the mysteries of existence within a magic-realism and real setting. It’s a short read but is so powerful for its depictions of human empathy and the complexity of relationships.

Small World by Laura Zigman

Small World is the latest novel from Laura Zigman, whose writing style is emotionally-anchored and poetic. When one divorced sister invites another to move in order to start over, they join the neighbour social networking site ‘Small World.’ This book explores post-divorce relationships. It is also very raw and relatable to adapting with great lifestyle changes.

Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

Spare is the highly anticipated memoir which promises define the experiences of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. There’s a lot of press leading up to this launch, with many interviews, articles, and documentaries to watch prior to this release. Now, we’re not really into tabloids but this book is said to be one of the bestsellers of the year.

The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley

Kashana Cauley’s new novel, The Survivalists, follows a lawyer’s experience into the underground world of doomsday preppers. You might’ve seen the TV shows, but this is a paperbound rollercoaster of emotions and realisations about anxiety. As the lawyer is also grieving the loss of her mother, this book is layered and complex, very much humanistic and relatable to how we’d react to such excessive survivalists.

The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise by Pico Iyer

The Half Known Life is Pico Iyer’s latest novel. They are a wonderful philosopher and travel writer, capturing the world in a poetic and mesmerising way. Therefore, this next book follows the journey from Iran to North Korea, through the Dalai Lama’s Himalayas to the ghostly temples of Japan, bringing together a lifetime of explorations to explore the dream of finding utopia. Pico’s entire novel begs the question of finding peace amidst suffering.

Decent People by De’Shawn Charles Winslow.

The author of In West Mills returns with a new novel set in the same community, Decent People. It’s 1976 and three secretive siblings have been shot in the still-segregated town of West Mills, North Carolina. The authorities don’t have a sense of urgency about the crime, but someone has a lot of questions for which she expects answers — Jo Wright, freshly back home from NYC and ready to take matters into her own hands.

Central Places by Delia Cai

Delia Cai’s new novel, Central Places, is a timeless story about bringing a boyfriend home to meet the parents. Since moving away from the central Illinois, Audrey Zhou has gotten a high-powered job and found the perfect man. Now, she’s bringing her fiancé back to meet her Chinese immigrant parents. This book is set to be sensitive, slyly funny, and witty as Audrey must venture into the past.

River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

The Emancipation Act of 1834 should’ve made Rachel a free woman, but the man who owns the plantation changes nothing. So she escapes. With all five children sold to other plantations, Rachel knows where she’s going. She travels to Trinidad, British Guiana, and Barbados in search of them.

2023 is, arguably, shaping to be a great year for literature and especially nonfiction. Real stories teach real lessons and these are sure to start your year well.

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By Shelby Jones




At The Book Shelf, we help aspiring nonfiction authors bring their books to life.