Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


Hello! I hope you’re all having a nice start to 2019. I hate when Christmas is over – mostly because I have wait a whole year for it to come around again! Anyhow, Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is my top ten most anticipated releases for the first six months of 2019. I tend to pick books as I go along and don’t really have a definitive list of books I’m looking forward to being published but here are ten that I think sound pretty promising!

1. The Lost Man by Jane Harper – February 2019


Summary: from Amazon

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…


I absolutely loved Harper’s debut novel The Dry a couple of years ago and whilst I wasn’t quite as enamoured with her second, Force of Nature, I still thought it was pretty great. I like the way she writes so I’m definitely looking forward to giving her newest book a go. The plot also sounds fantastic – I love books with complicated sibling relationships.

2. The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor – February 2019


Summary: from Amazon

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.


I haven’t actually had the chance to read The Chalk Man, also by Tudor, but I do remember it receiving loads of glowing reviews so I have to put The Hiding Place on my list. The story really appeals to me because I think books where a character returns to their childhood home after a long time away always bring up so many interesting ideas. This sounds like an intriguing and dark mystery and I can’t wait.

3. Furious Hours by Casey Cep – May 2019


Summary: from Amazon

The stunning true story of an Alabama serial killer, and the trial that obsessed the author of To Kill a Mockingbird in the years after the publication of her classic novel – a complicated and difficult time in her life that, until now, has been very little examined.

Willie Maxwell was a Baptist reverend in Alabama; he also happened to be a serial killer. Between 1970 and 1977, his two wives and brother all died under suspicious circumstances – each with hefty life insurance policies taken out by none other than the Reverend himself. With the help of a savvy lawyer, Maxwell escaped justice for years. Then, the teenage daughter of his third wife perished. At the funeral, the victim’s uncle shot the Reverend dead in a church full of witnesses – and was subsequently acquitted of the murder, thanks to the same savvy lawyer who had represented the Reverend for all those years. Sitting in the audience during the trial was Harper Lee, who had travelled from New York to her native Alabama with an idea of writing a book about the case.


I find Harper Lee really fascinating and I love To Kill A Mockingbird so I’m fascinated by the period this book is going to cover. I hadn’t heard of the case the book is discussing so I can’t wait to read all about it and how it connects to  such an interesting author. I also really enjoy true crime so I’m hoping this will be a kind of true crime/biography hybrid.

4. Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus – January 2019


Summary: from Amazon

Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. No one knows what happened to either girl, and Ellery’s family is still haunted by their loss.

Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted her and Malcolm into Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but their new status grows shaky when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. No one has forgotten Malcolm’s brother-and nobody trusts him when he suddenly returns to town.

Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears, and Ellery and Malcolm were the last people to see her alive. As they race to unravel what happened, they realize every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe.


This author’s last book, One of Us Is Lying was one of the books that I had the most fun reading last year so I would read this latest offering regardless of the plot. However the plot sounds like it will be a great, enjoyable mystery with interesting characters that I’m hoping will be as good as her last book. Plus this one is going to be released in just a few days so – yay!

5. Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young – April 2019


Summary: from Amazon

Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardian, they receive a well-rounded education that promises to make them better. Obedient girls, free from arrogance or defiance. Free from troublesome opinions or individual interests.

But the girls’ carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back.


I’m not totally sure exactly what this one is about from the blurb but I’m definitely intrigued by it. It sounds like a really interesting idea and I do enjoy books that centre around the many issues affecting women. Whilst this does seem like a sort of dystopian-ish novel I still think it sounds pretty relevant. Plus how cool is the cover?

6. The Night Before by Wendy Walker –  May 2019


Summary: from Amazon

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…


Thrillers are probably my favourite genre so I’m always up for reading a book like this. I read a previous book from Walker, All Is Not Forgotten, which was super dark and super gritty – I’m really hoping this one will be just as good and complex!

7. Happy Fat by Sophie Hagen – May 2019


Summary: from Amazon

Sofie Hagen has always been fat. But after years of struggling with her body image and subjecting herself to countless diets, Sofie began to question the incessant body shaming and internalised fatphobia that she had always taken for granted. She started to worry less about fad diets and impossible beauty ideals and began to challenge the origins of these deep-seated aspirations.

Happy Fat is a response to this exploration: part-memoir, part-social commentary, Sofie describes how she conquered a negative relationship with her body and provides practical tips for readers to do the same – drawing wisdom from fat liberation champions along the way.

Covering topics from shame and sex to airplane seats, love and getting stuck in public toilets, Happy Fat shows us how taking up space in a culture that is desperate to reduce you can be radical and emboldening.


I think the topic of fat-shaming is of major importance in the world we live in. The problems with the way larger people are perceived are numerous and deserve to be examined. This books also looks like it will be fun to read – just from the cover I’m assuming it will be honest, frank and maybe funny and I can’t wait to give it a read.

8. The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo – February 2019


Summary: from Amazon

They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk among us…

In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master’s severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth forever.

Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother’s debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail.

As time runs out for Ren’s mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin’s paths will cross in ways they will never forget.


This one sounds pretty strange but also amazing! I love when a story is a bit different and involves elements of folklore and legends. I’m hoping this one will live up to how quirky and magical it sounds – I have no idea what it will be like but I’ve got a good feeling about it.

9. Making Evil by Dr Julia Shaw – February 2019


Summary: from Amazon

Are you evil?

A smart and highly readable exploration of why we think and do bad things.

Dr Julia Shaw shows us that the same dispositions that make us capable of heinous crimes may also work to our advantage. And, if evil is within all of us, should it be said to exist at all?

In Making Evil, Shaw uses a compelling mix of science, popular culture and real life examples to break down timely and important issues. How similar is your brain to a psychopath’s? How many people have murder fantasies? Can A.I. be evil? Do your sexual proclivities make you a bad person? Who becomes a terrorist?

This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.


As I said, I read quite a bit of true crime so this non-fiction book about the idea of evil and whether it actually exists sounds fascinating. Being totally honest, if it turns out to be a very science driven book I may not find it as interesting as I’m hoping to – just because anything involving maths or science tends to go over my head. However I am looking forward to reading what the author has to say on such a dark subject.

10. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – February 2019

The Silent Patient: The most anticipated thriller of 2019 by [Michaelides, Alex]

Summary: from Amazon

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?


This one just sounds like a fantastic premise for a book. I like when the reasoning behind an act of shocking violence is explored and this sounds like it will be just that. I also have no idea where this story will go and I hope there will be plenty of twists along the way.

Well that’s it! My top ten most anticipated releases for the first half of the year. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my list and please feel free to leave a link to your own! Have a great January everyone!













14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

  1. nualacharlie says:

    You have some interesting books here, it’s wonderful that you took the time to share what attracted you to these books (I am a bit sick of looking at TTT posts with just an unadorned list of book titles). I am trying my best to resist requesting the Night Tiger on Netgalley as I have more than enough arcs to read before then as it is, but its soo tempting.

    Liked by 2 people

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