Literairyland: Dec. 12-18, 2023

This week's new books, writer birthdays, and more.

Welcome to Literairyland, your list of this week's new books and writer birthdays. Subscribe today and get Literairyland in your inbox every Tuesday!


Yesterday, I was listening to author Terry Hayes on my favorite podcast, The Writer's Routine, when he said he wrote 1 million words for his latest novel, The Year of the Locust. Only about 240,000 of those words made it into the book's final version.

"Out of every four words, only one remained," Hayes said.

Hayes also spent nine years writing the novel, which publishes in the U.S. on Feb. 6. Nine years and 750,000 words he didn't use. 

Some Literairyland readers are published authors, so you know the effort a book requires. And I'm grateful for you and other writers who put in the work to bring us stories.

Let me know if you have a book coming out over the next year or so. Submit your book's info here, and I'll ensure it's included in Literairyland the week your book is published.

Enjoy this week's new books, shop the gift guide, and please consider telling others about Literairyland. I really appreciate it!

And happy reading,

Table of Contents

Last Week’s Most Clicked-On Book Was…🥁

Silent Cavalry: How Union Soldiers from Alabama Helped Sherman Burn Atlanta — And Then Got Written Out of History by Howell Raines (Amazon | Bookshop)

This Week’s New Books

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  • The Rhymney Valley Killings by Gaynor Torrance (Amazon)

  • Closer By The Hour by Lauren Street (Amazon)

  • Secrets in the Blood by Gwyn Bennett (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Death in the Ozarks by Erik S. Meyers (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Fast Charlie by Victor Gischler (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Seed on the Wind by Rex Stout (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • No Way Out by Cara Hunter (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Death in the Dark Woods by Annelise Ryan (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Final Curtain by Keigo Higashino, translated by Giles Murray (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Cyanide and Sensibility by Katie Oliver (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • A Change in Destiny, Dark Choices by Janet K. Shawgo (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 14)

  • Our Sister's Grave by B.R. Spangler (Amazon) (Available Dec. 14)


  • The Murders at Sugar Mill Farm by Ronica Black (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Pray for Her by Holly S. Roberts (Amazon)

  • Where There's Smoke by E.B. Vickers (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Jaguar Prophecies by Jeff Wheeler (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Academy: A Dan Lenson Novel by David Poyer (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Hard Exit by J.B. Turner (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 14)

  • Red Labyrinth by Dominic Adler (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 14)

  • After the Sleepover by Kerry Wilkinson (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 15)

  • The Glennmare Girls by Anya Mora (Amazon) (Available Dec. 18)

  • Bone Lake by Stacy Green (Amazon) (Available Dec. 18)

Science Fiction


  • Twisting Time Forbidden City of Gold by D.F. Jones (Amazon)

  • Her Dark Wings by Melinda Salisbury (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Our Cursed Love by Julie Abe (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Kiss of a Witch by S.G. Slade (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 14)

  • The Hope of Dragons by Rachel A. Greco (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 16)


  • Highlands New Year by Amy Quick Parrish (Amazon) 🎄

  • Never Getting Back Together by Krysti Meyer (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Memories of Marlie Rose by Morgan Lee Miller (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Playing with Matches by Georgia Beers (Amazon) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Limelight by Gun Brooke (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Like They Do in the Movies by Nan Campbell (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Invisible by Anna Larner (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Coasting and Crashing by Ana Hartnett (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • The Something Borrowed Sisters by Shirley Jump (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Wrong Guy by Lauren Landish (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Four Steps to the Perfect Revenge by Lilian Monroe (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Through the Rain by Ariana Godoy (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Calling on the Matchmaker by Jody Hedlund (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Lose You to Find Me by B. Celeste (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • On the Way to Us by Carolyn Brown (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Housebroke by Jaci Burton (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Game On by Seressia Glass (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Highland Born by Kathryn LeVeque (Amazon) (Available Dec. 14)

  • Snowflakes and Surprises in Tuppenny Bridge by Sharon Booth (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 14)

  • The Hotel Room Mix-Up by Kathy Jay (Amazon) (Available Dec. 15)

Manga, Comic, and Graphic Novels

  • Blade & Bastard, Vol. 1 (Light Novel): Warm Ash, Dusky Dungeon by Kubo Kagyu, So-Bin artist, edited by C.D. Neeson, translated by Sean McCann (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Akane-banashi, Vol. 3 by Yuki Suenaga, illustrated by Takamasa Moue (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu Academy, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Hokami, created by Koyoharu Gotouge (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • How I Met My Soulmate 1 by Anashin (Amazon | Bookshop)

Anthologies and Short Stories

  • The Reinvented Detective, edited by Jennifer Brooke and Cat Rambo (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2022), edited by Eugen Bacon, Milton Davis, and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Amazon | Bookshop)

Young Adult



  • Seeing One Thing Through: The Zen Life and Teachings of Sojun Mel Weitsman by Mel Weitsman (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Curepedia: An A-Z of The Cure by Simon Price (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • 60 Famous Classical Piano Solos: Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Handel, Liszt, and More by David Dutkanicz (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 13)

Performing Arts

  • Jesus Christ Superstar: Behind the Scenes of the Worldwide Musical Phenomenon by Ellis Nassour (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 15)

  • How Broadway Works: Building and Running a Show, from the People Who Make It Happen by Sharon Grace Powers (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 15)


  • Starting a Business 101: From Creating a Business Plan and Sticking to a Budget to Marketing and Making a Profit, Your Essential Primer to Star by Michele Cagan (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Bulletproof Your Ideas: How Engineers Can Irresistibly Sell Complex Ideas by Michael Seely (Amazon) (Available Dec. 15)


  • We Are Agora: How Humanity Functions as a Single Superorganism That Shapes Our World and Our Future by Byron Reese (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Everything You Need to Know from Puppyhood to Adolescence and Beyond a Puppy Training and Dog Training Book by Adam Spivey (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • The Savage Storm: The Battle for Italy 1943 by James Holland (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Following Caesar: From Rome to Constantinople, the Pathways That Planted the Seeds of Empire by John Keahey (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Fundamentalists in the Public Square: Evolution, Alcohol, and Culture Wars After the Scopes Trial by Madison Trammel (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 13)

  • Exposing the Reich: How Hitler Captivated and Corrupted the German People by David Harper (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 15)



  • The UnConventional CEO: How to Build Wealth and Joy In The Face of Adversity by Ruby "Sunshine" Taylor, contributions by Jenny Flores and Chantal Roche (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • I Didn't Know I Needed This: The New Rules for Flirting, Feeling, and Finding Yourself by Eli Rallo (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Horrors of Dating: A Coloring Book by Harper Celebrate (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Loyal to a Fault: How to Establish New Patterns When Loving Others Has Left You Hurting by Courtney J. Burg (Amazon | Bookshop)

Marriage and Weddings

  • How to Plan a Wedding: A Month-By-Month Guide for Modern Weddings by Terri Pous (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Marriage in the Bible: What Do the Texts Say? by Jennifer Bird (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 15)


  • Self-Love Journal for Women: Prompts and Practices for Your Journey to Self-Worth, Self-Care, and Self-Acceptance by Jordan Brown (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Miracle Morning (Updated and Expanded Edition) by Hal Elrod (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • The Buddhist and the Ethicist: Conversations on Effective Altruism, Engaged Buddhism, and How to Build a Better World by Shih Chao-Hwei and Peter Singer (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Created to Hear God: 4 Unique and Proven Ways to Confidently Discern His Voice by Havilah Cunnington (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Embodying Tara: Twenty-One Manifestations to Awaken Your Innate Wisdom by Chandra Easton (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Manifestation Coloring Book by Editors of Chartwell Books (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Working from the Inside Out: A Brief Guide to Inner Work That Transforms Our Outer World by Jeff Haanen (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Light as Light: Poems Volume 93 by Simon J. Ortiz (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Poems by Presidents: The First-Ever Anthology by Michael Croland (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 13)

  • Proof of the Sun by Eve Ott (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 15)

Bookish Trivia 🤔

Thursday is Shirley Jackson's birthday. One of her novels was adapted into a classic film in 1963. Which novel was it?

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This Week’s Literary Birthdays & Events

December 12

  • Helen Dunmore

  • Gustave Flaubert

  • Vasily Grossman

  • Hans Keilson

  • Sophie Kinsella

  • Patrick O'Brian

  • Lola Ridge

  • Ahmad Shamloo

December 13

  • Alan Bullock

  • William Drummond of Hawthornden

  • Heinrich Heine

  • Kenneth Patchen

  • Don Roff

  • Jean Rouaud

  • Leonard Weisgard

  • James Wright

December 14

  • Kelley Armstrong

  • Antony Beevor

  • Boudewijn Büch

  • Jon Elia

  • Paul Éluard

  • Shirley Jackson

  • Mary Tappan Wright

December 15

  • Hans Carossa

  • J.M. DeMatteis

  • Donald Goines

  • Mike McAlary

  • David McCord

  • Edna O'Brien

  • Klaus Rifbjerg

  • Muriel Rukeyser

  • John Sladek

  • Betty Smith

  • Robert Charles Wilson

December 16

  • Beatrix Potter self publishes The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901)

  • Rafael Alberti

  • Jane Austen

  • Olavo Bilac

  • Bill Brittain

  • Elizabeth Carter

  • Phillip K. Dick

  • Peter Dickinson

  • Sally Emerson

  • Randall Garrett

  • V.S. Pritchett

  • Francis Thompson

December 17

  • Erskine Caldwell

  • Jack L. Chalker

  • Penelope Fitzgerald

  • Ford Madox Ford

  • Jules de Goncourt

  • William Safire

  • John Kennedy Toole

  • John Greenleaf Whittier

  • Jacqueline Wilson

December 18

  • Alfred Bester

  • Alfred Billings Street

  • Christopher Fry

  • Robert Leckie

  • Michael Moorcock

  • Yakov Polonsky

  • Marilyn Sachs

  • Saki

  • Leonid Yuzefovich

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