The first days of the new year are like the first pages of a book: filled with possibility, and with much to keep you busy in the days and pages to follow. To celebrate the new year, our reviews editors share eight books guaranteed to get your year in reading started on the right foot—err, page.

You Dreamed of Empires

Álvaro Enrigue, trans. from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer. Riverhead, $28 (240p) ISBN 978-0-593-54479-2

Sometime back in the aughts, the poet Rigoberto González said during a PEN World Voices event that it was amazing to him that Enrigue, one of the most vital novelists publishing in Mexico, had not been translated into English. Fortunately, the oversight has since been rectified, and I can’t wait to dive into his latest revisionist historical, which our review calls a “brain-bending” portrayal of the 1519 meeting between Cortés and Moctezuma. —David Varno, literary fiction reviews editor

A Memoir of My Former Self: A Life in Writing

Hilary Mantel. Holt, $40 (432p) ISBN 978-1-250-34222-5

Books about writing tend to be a mixed bag, but this posthumous collection from historical fiction giant Hilary Mantel mixes musings on craft with dazzling examples of that craft at work. If writing is anywhere near your New Year's resolutions list, this is a great way to set yourself up for success. —Conner Reed, mystery and memoir reviews editor

A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories

Terry Pratchett. HarperCollins, $26.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-337619-9

Sir Terry Pratchett famously destroyed his hard drive with a steamroller to prevent any of his unfinished stories from seeing the light of day after his death. What a surprising delight, then, these previously uncollected, pseudonymously published early works turn out to be: comedic, cozy, and incandescently clever. —Phoebe Cramer, SFF, horror, and romance reviews editor

The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon

Adam Shatz. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $32 (464p) ISBN 978-0-374-17642-6

It's been a minute since Fanon's been the subject of a major biography, and Shatz proves more than up to the task of elucidating the interplay between the psychoanalyst's biography and his anti-colonialist theory. —Marc Greenawalt, science and pop culture reviews editor

Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto

Kohei Saito, trans. from the Japanese by Brian Bergstrom. Astra House, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-1-662-60236-8

Are you feeling de-growth curious? Are you getting a little nervous about the impending climate apocalypse? Are you not looking forward to going back to your 60-hour work week after your three days off for the holidays? Well what a coincidence—I have precisely the book for you! Tokyo University political economist Kohei Saito’s runaway Japanese bestseller arguing that to save the planet we should all work a little less is about to hit U.S. shelves on January 9th. Start your year off right: grow out your mutton chops, clip on your pince-nez, and cut the pages on the latest anti-capitalist manifesto that’s all the rage abroad! —Dana Snitzky, history and current affairs reviews editor

Lou Reed: The King of New York

Will Hermes. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $35 (560p) ISBN 978-0-374-19339-3

Will Hermes peeks beneath the Velvet Underground frontman's too-cool, all-black-wearing exterior in what manages to be at once a sweeping analysis of how Reed innovated the rock genre, a fine-grained character study, and a rollicking pleasure to read, even at 500+ pages. —Miriam Grossman, religion and self-help associate reviews editor

Silence, Full Stop

Karina Shor. Street Noise, $23.99 trade paper (272) ISBN 978-1-951-49125-3

Shor's unmooring debut memoir throws back to the confrontational work of Phoebe Gloeckner mixed with the cool analysis of Una's Becoming Unbecoming. She gives trauma a visceral, palpable portrayal through artwork that's both jarringly grotesque and hauntingly beautiful in turns—much like the narrative of her coming-of-age and reckoning with childhood sexual abuse. It's a messy work in appealing ways; she doesn't pander to make a terrible topic palatable—and will remind readers why graphic memoir is so powerful for its untidy borders and raw storytelling. —Meg Lemke, comics and graphic novels reviews editor

The Ruins of Nostalgia

Donna Stonecipher. Wesleyan Univ., $16.95 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-0-8195-0083-0

The holidays induce nostalgia without fail, and this book of prose poems on the subject is inventive, existential, and delightful company. —Maya Popa, poetry reviews editor