Most Anticipated Reads for the Rest of Us 2022 – Ms. Magazine

You’ve seen the other “most anticipated books for 2022” lists, now read this one… you know, for the rest of us!

Through this column, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

The aims of the column are threefold:

  1. I want to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male;
  2. I want to amplify amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, LGBIA+, TGNC, queer, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us; and
  3. I want to challenge and encourage you all to buy, borrow and read them! 

You’ve seen the other “most anticipated books for 2022” lists, now read this one… you know, for the rest of us!

I have spent the last few months scouring catalogs and websites, receiving hundreds of books and even more emails from authors, publicists and publishers, reading your book Tweets and DMs, all to find out what books are coming out in 2022 that I think you, my exceptional, inquisitive and discerning Ms. readers, will want to hear about. 

There are 101 books on this list and honestly, for each one I’ve included here, there are at least two (or 10) other great books coming out by women of color, queer and gender-diverse folx that I could’ve picked. It was near impossible to choose from among them, and that is so great! I’ve been a professional book jockey for 15+ years and I am encouraged to see more books each year that reflect the lives we actually lead. There’s always more work to be done and more to be written, but I’ve reason to be hopeful. So let’s get to it!

The fine print:

  • You’ll notice the list is front-loaded because, well, we know about more books coming out in the next few months than those coming in the fall. 
  • Release dates are always subject to change, especially for books due to come out later in the year.
  • I include nonfiction and academic titles because I know you are smart people who are always learning! 
  • I also include young adult (YA) books because they are often on the cutting edge in terms of character inclusion and candor about the realities of the world in which we live.
  • I don’t include poetry (SORRY!) only because the list is already so long but watch for my poetry round-up coming in April.  
  • I am certain to have missed some fine new books or just decided not to include others. (That’s why it’s a damn good thing I give you a list of new releases every month so be sure to come back to check those out.) 

TL;DR: Here’s your TBR for the year! 

I hope you enjoy; I’m sure you’ll find plenty here that certain school districts will try banning in the near future. 

Thanks for your continued support and I always love to hear about what you are reading and writing, so keep the emails, tweets and DMs a-coming!   


Abolition. Feminism. Now. 

By Angela Y. DavisGina DentErica R. Meiners and Beth E. Richie. Haymarket Books. 264 pages. Out now.

Hard-hitting and necessary; read it if you haven’t already. 

The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System

Edited by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman (@itsafronomics). St. Martin’s Press. 272 pages. Out now.

This is an ode to Black experts and their solutions to contemporary issues in the US. Consider it #RequiredReading.

Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood 

By DaMaris B. Hill (@damarishill). Bloomsbury. 176 pages. Out now.

Hill’s offered readers a moving narrative-in-verse ode to the innocence, wonder and complexities of Black girlhood.

Love, Activism, and the Respectable Life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson

By Tara T. Green (@DrTTGreen). Bloomsbury Academic. 280 pages. Out now. 

This is the first book-length biography of the trailblazing activist, writer, suffragist and educator, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and it’s remarkably researched and written.

South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation 

By Imani Perry (@imaniperry). Ecco. 432 pages. Out now. 

Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, this lush volume pays homage to the South, with its unique stories, multiple identities and imperfect evolutions.

You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays 

By Zora Neale Hurston. Amistad. 464 pages. Out now. 

I’m thankful for the first comprehensive collection of Zora Neale Hurston’s essays and articles, spanning 35 years, which illustrate the evolution of the time and the writer. 


Black Cake: A Novel

By Charmaine Wilkerson (@charmspen1). Ballantine Books. 400 pages. Out now. 

This debut about family secrets and journeys of the heart is getting rave reviews. 

In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage

By Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (@silviavasla). Henry Holt & Co. 320 pages. Out now. 

This is a truly invigorating and compelling story of a heroic healing journey to base camp at Mt. Everest.

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century

By Kim Fu. Tin House Books. 220 pages. Out now.

This collection of kaleidoscopic speculative short stories will have you questioning reality and loving every minute of it.

What the Fireflies Knew: A Novel 

By Kai Harris (@AuthorKaiHarris). Tiny Reparations. 288 pages. Out now. 

A young girl’s difficult coming-of-age is lovingly presented in this layered and moving debut.  

Blood Feast: The Complete Short Stories of Malika Moustadraf  

Written by Malika Moustadraf and translated by Alice Guthrie. The Feminist Press at CUNY. 136 pages. Out February 8.

Now available is the complete collection of published short stories by a Moroccan feminist icon who boldly engaged with themes of feminism, sexuality and female embodiment while openly challenging patriarchal oppression and traditions.

Nobody’s Magic

By Destiny O. Birdsong (@destinyoshay). Grand Central Publishing. 368 pages. Out February 8. 

Hopeful and powerful, this is an original novel in three parts, each centering a Black woman with albinism. 

The Almond in the Apricot 

By Sara Goudarzi (@saragoud). Deep Vellum Publishing. 252 pages. Out February 15. 

This is the compelling debut about an unexpected relationship between two girls across time, space and grief.

Black American Refugee: Escaping the Narcissism of the American Dream 

By Tiffanie Drayton (@draytontiffanie). Viking. 304 pages. Out February 15. 

A Tobagonian woman, Drayton offers a unique and candid perspective of the racial stratification of the U.S. after years of chasing the dream.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea 

By Axie Oh (@axieoh). Feiwel & Friends. 336 pages. Out February 22. 

This is a glittering and sumptuous feminist retelling of the classic Korean folktale “The Tale of Shim Cheong.”

How I Survived a Chinese “Reeducation” Camp: A Uyghur Woman’s Story

Written by Gulbahar Haitiwaji and Rozenn Morgat. Translated by Edward Gauvin. Seven Stories Press. 240 pages. Out February 22. 

Of this urgent first memoir about the “reeducation” camps by a Uyghur woman, the author confirms: “I have written what I lived. The atrocious reality.”

Black Trans Feminism 

By Marquis Bey. Duke University Press. 304 pages. Out February 25.

In 2019, Bey’s debut collection Them Goon Rules changed me as a scholar, a feminist, an accomplice and a person; I can’t wait to see what this volume has in store.


Black Women and Public Health: Strategies to Name, Locate, and Change Systems of Power

Edited by Stephanie Y. Evans (@Prof_Evans), Sarita K. DavisLeslie R. Hinkson, and Deanna J. Wathington. SUNY Press. 336 pages. Out March 1. 

This expert volume fills an urgent need for in-depth examinations of race, gender and health. 

Border Less 

By Namrata Poddar (@poddar_namrata). 7.13 Books. 176 pages. Out March 1. 

Not only does this resonant feminist debut challenge normative narratives of immigrant life, it also disrupts the notion of the Western novel in form and function. 

Burning My Roti: Breaking Barriers as a Queer Indian Woman

By Sharan Dhaliwal (@sharanshaliwal_). Hardie Grant. 208 pages. Out March 1.

It’s a memoir, it’s a guide, it’s a celebration of South Asian women. 

Assata Taught Me: State Violence, Racial Capitalism, and the Movement for Black Lives 

By Donna Murch (@murchnik). Haymarket Books. 224 pages. Out March 8.

Murch gives us an exceptional reexamination of the Black Panther Party and the Movement for Black Lives more generally through a redistributive, queer, and feminist framework.

Glory: A Novel 

By NoViolet Bulawayo. Viking. 416 pages. Out March 8.

Glory is a singular, surreal and satirical modern parable aimed at global social and political upheaval.

The Inheritance of Words: Writings from Arunachal Pradesh 

By Mamang Dai. Zubaan Books. 198 pages. Out March 8. 

This is a groundbreaking collection of writings from women from Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India, many of which have been traditionally handed down orally.

The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet

By Leah Thomas (@Leahtommi). Voracious. 208 pages. Out March 8.

Eco-activist @greengirlleah shares her important work on intersectional environmentalism in this slim and accessible volume.

Read the full article at Ms. Magazine