Literairyland: Dec. 5-11, 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!

Hi Reader,

Last week, Irish writer Paul Lynch's novel Prophet Song won the Booker Prize, and the book is available in the U.S. starting today (Amazon | Bookshop). It's a dystopian novel about Ireland becoming a totalitarian state. 

Katie Cotugno's latest novel, Meet the Benedettos (Amazon | Bookshop), is another new book I'm seeing reviewers talk about this week.

Two books out this week that are appearing on a lot of December must-read lists are Tim Alberta's The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism (Amazon | Bookshop) and Silent Cavalry: How Union Soldiers from Alabama Helped Sherman Burn Atlanta — And Then Got Written Out of History by Howell Raines (Amazon | Bookshop).

You'll find these books and many more below, along with two new things I think you might enjoy:

  • A call-out of which book Literairyland subscribers clicked on the most in last week's email.

  • A book-related trivia question.

Remember to shop the Literairyland Gift Guide, and if you're a writer with an upcoming book, let me know. Submit this short form so I can include your book in Literairyland the week it is published.

Lastly, here's a list of 10 books to read this December, and here's The New York Times list of eight books you might want to read this month.

Happy reading,
Nick Barron

P.S. And happy early Hannukah! 🕎

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

Sarah Blakley-Cartwright’s Alice Sadie Celine (Amazon | Bookshop)

This Week’s New Books

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  • Devils at the Door by Tessa Wegert (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Frozen River: A Novel by Ariel Lawhon (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Perfect Little Lives: A Novel by Amber and Danielle Brown (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Daughter of Ashes (A Teresa Battaglia Novel) by Ilaria Tuti, translated by Ekin Oklap (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Sunset, Water City (The Water City Trilogy) by Chris McKinney (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Death at the Dog Show by Peter Boland (Amazon)

  • Mayhem in Circulation by Leah Dobrinska (Amazon)

  • Murder in the Mist by Cora Harrison (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Hidden in Shadows by Viveca Sten, translated by Marlaine Delargy (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • City of Betrayal by Victoria Thompson (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Death Writes by Andrea Carter (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Sniffing Out Murder by Kallie E. Benjamin (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Missing by Savannah Brown (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Curse of Penryth Hall: A Mystery by Jess Armstrong (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Their Lost Souls by Roger Stelljes (Amazon) (Available Dec. 7)



  • Where the Dead Wait: A Novel by Ally Wilkes (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Heavy Oceans by Tyler Jones (Amazon) (Available Dec. 7)

Science Fiction



  • The Wildest Sun: A Novel by Asha Lemmie (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Gentleman’s Gambit by Evie Dunmore (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Invisible No More: A Historical Novel by Rick Burton and Scott Pitoniak (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Paris Notebook by Tessa Harris (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Wonder of It All: A House of Falconer Novel by Barbara Taylor Bradford (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Jazz Club Spy by Roberta Rich (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Rome's Last Noble Palace by Kimberly Sullivan (Amazon) (Available Dec. 6)

  • The Midwife's Promise by Eliza Graham (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 6)

  • Driving the Tide by Lee Jackson (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 7)

  • The French Affair by Theresa Howes (Amazon) (Available Dec. 7)

  • The Wilderness Way by Anne Madden (Amazon) (Available Dec. 7)

Fantasy & Mythology

  • The Serpent & the Wings of Night (Crowns of Nyaxia, 1) by Carissa Broadbent (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • A River of Golden Bones: Book One of the Golden Court by A.K. Mulford (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • All the Hidden Paths by Foz Meadows (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Never by Jessa Hastings (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Dr. C. Lillefisk's Sirenology: A Guide to Mermaids and Other Under-The-Sea Phenonemon by Jana Heidersorf and Cecilia Lillefisk (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Dragons of Deepwood Fen by Bradley P. Beaulieu (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • HIM by Geoff Ryman (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu (Amazon | Bookshop)


Alternative History

Graphic & Manga

  • Homicide: The Graphic Novel, Part Two by David Simon, illustrated by Philippe Squarzoni (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Blade of the Moon Princess, Vol. 2 by Tatsuya Endo (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Lumine Volume One: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Emma Krogell (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • MyLifeAndMyLife by Melinda Mátyus, translated by Jozefina Komporaly (Publisher)

Short Stories

  • The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac: Stories by Louise Kennedy (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Rebecca, Not Becky by Catherine Wigginton Greene and Christine Platt (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Tiny Home for Christmas by Erin Lucy (Amazon) (Available Dec. 6) 🎄


Young Adult

  • Facing the Enemy: How a Nazi Youth Camp in America Tested a Friendship by Barbara Krasner (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Make Me a Liar by Melissa Landers (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • War of the Land by Dana Claire (Amazon) (Available Dec. 7)

Trivia Time

What did Jane Austen originally title Pride and Prejudice?

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  • Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning by Liz Cheney (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Songs on Endless Repeat: Essays and Outtakes by Anthony Veasna (Amazon | Bookshop) 🏳️‍🌈

  • Unfinished Woman: A Memoir by Robyn Davidson (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • A Wild Path by Douglas Wood (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song by Judith Tick (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Dirtbag: Essays by Amber A'Lee Frost (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Zero at the Bone: Fifty Entries Against Despair by Christian Wiman (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Loaded: The Life (and Afterlife) of the Velvet Underground by Dylan Jones (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Jimi and Me: The Experience of a Lifetime by Jonathan Stathakis, with Chris Epting (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Stepping Out: The Unapologetic Style of African Americans Over Fifty by Connie Briscoe, photographer Milton Washington (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Trash Talk: The Only Book About Destroying Your Rivals That Isn’t Total Garbage by Rafa Kohan (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • New Global Universities: Reinventing Education in the 21st Century by Bryan Penprase and Noah Pickus (Amazon | Bookshop)

Ethnic Studies

  • Black Feminist Constellations: Dialogue and Translation Across the Americas, edited by Lorraine Leu and Christen A. Smith (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism by Tim Alberta (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Price of Humanity: How Philanthropy Went Wrong--And How to Fix It by Amy Schiller (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Mindstuck: Mastering the Art of Changing Minds by Michael McQueen (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Past Forward: How Nostalgia Can Help You Live a More Meaningful Life by Clay Routledge (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Quantum Body: The New Science of Living a Longer, Healthier, More Vital Life by Deepak Chopra, Brian Fertig, and Jack Tuszynsk (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel by Shahnaz Habib (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • The Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder by Douglas Preston (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • The Palace: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 Years of British History at Hampton Court by Gareth Russell (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Rest Is History: From Ancient Rome to Ronald Reagan — History's Most Curious Questions, Answered by Goalhanger Podcasts with Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Magus: The Art of Magic from Faustus to Agrippa by Anthony Grafton (Amazon | Bookshop)

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

  • Strike of the Sailfish: Two Sister Submarines and the Sinking of a Japanese Aircraft Carrier by Stephen L. Moore (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Into Siberia: George Kennan's Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia by Gregory J. Wallance (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • God Save Benedict Arnold: The True Story of America's Most Hated Man by Jack Kelly (Amazon | Bookshop)

Performing Arts

  • Emergency INDEX: An Annual Document of Performance Practice, Vol. 10 (Publisher)

  • Deborah Roberts: Twenty Years of Art/Work by Deborah Roberts (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Everywhere an Oink Oink: An Embittered, Dyspeptic, and Accurate Report of Forty Years in Hollywood by David Mamet (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Black TV: Five Decades of Groundbreaking Television from Soul Train to Black-Ish and Beyond by Bethonie Butler (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Supes Ain't Always Heroes: Inside the Complex Characters and Twisted Psychology of The Boys by Matthew Snyder and Lynn S. Zubernis (Amazon | Bookshop)

Arts & Crafts


  • Choose Your Enemies Wisely: Business Planning for the Audacious Few by Patrick Bet-David and Greg Dinkin (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Ask & Deliver: Discover the Heart of Your Business by Listening to the Voice of Your Customers by Mary Ann O'Brien (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Choose Your Enemies Wisely: Business Planning for the Audacious Few by Patrick Bet-David and Greg Dinkin (Amazon | Bookshop)

Personal Finance

  • The New Rules of Money: A Playbook for Planning Your Financial Future: A Workbook by Julia Carpenter and Bourree Lam (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Your Journey to Financial Freedom: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Wealth and Happiness by Jamila Souffrant (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Watch Your Language: Why Conversations Go Wrong and How to Fix Them by Rob Kendall (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution by Ryan Grim (Amazon | Bookshop)



  • A Year in Practice: Seasonal Rituals and Prompts to Awaken Cycles of Creative Expression by Jacqueline Suskin (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Your Book Matters: 52 Love Notes From My Creative Heart to Yours by Dallas Woodburn (Amazon)


  • My Life Is Art: 11 Pillars for a Positive and Purposeful Life by Emmanuel Jal (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Moonshot: A NASA Astronaut's Guide to Achieving the Impossible by Mike Massimino (Amazon | Bookshop)


  • Religion of Sports: Navigating the Trials of Life through the Games We Love by Gotham Chopra and Joe Levin (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • 12 Truths & a Lie: Answers to Life's Biggest Questions by J.D. Greear (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • What's My Aura?: Learn Your Color, What It Means, and How You Can Embrace Your Unique Energy Signature by Mystic Michaela (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • Light of the Word: How Knowing the History of the Bible Illuminates Our Faith by Susan C. Lim (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Practice of Remembering: Uncovering the Place of Memories in Our Spiritual Life by Casey Tygrett (Amazon | Bookshop)

  • The Celestial Garden: Growing Herbs, Vegetables, and Flowers in Sync with the Moon and Zodiac by Jane Hawley Stevens (Amazon | Bookshop) (Available Dec. 7)


  • Glossolalia by Marlon Hacla, translated by Kristine Ong Muslim (Publisher)

  • Dear Parent or Guardian by Isadoro Saturno, translated by E.R. Pulgar (Publisher)

  • Made of Dream by Stephanie Borges, translated by Livia Azevedo Lima (Publisher)

This Week’s Literary Birthdays & Events

December 5

  • James Lee Burke

  • Samuel Butler

  • Ellis Parker Butler

  • Ann Nolan Clark

  • Joan Didion

  • Hans Hellmut Kirst

  • Lydia Millet

  • Rainer Maria Rilke

  • Christina Rossetti

  • Louis Sachar

  • Adam Thorpe

  • Calvin Trillin

December 6

  • Vladimir Nabokov finishes Lolita (1953)

  • Dion Fortune

  • Joyce Kilmer

  • Jason Reynolds

  • Elizabeth Yates

December 7

  • Abū-Sa'īd Abul-Khayr

  • Paul Adam

  • Tatamkhulu Afrika

  • Leigh Brackett

  • Joyce Cary

  • Willa Cather

  • Allan Cunningham

  • Anne Fine

  • Lucy Hughes-Hallett

  • Intizar Hussain

  • Susan Isaacs

  • Christopher Nicole

  • Rosemary Rogers

  • Akiko Yosano

December 8

  • Mark David Chapman shoots John Lennon, then sits down to read The Catcher in the Rye (1980)

  • Hervey Allen

  • John Banville

  • Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

  • Bill Bryson

  • Rob Byrnes

  • Carmen Martín Gaite

  • Nikos Gatsos

  • Bob Greene

  • Marcus Lee Hansen

  • Horace

  • Jakov Ignjatović

  • Nasir Kazmi

  • Amanda McKittrick Ros

  • Delmore Schwartz

  • James Tate

December 9

  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade" first published (1845)

  • Léonie Adams

  • Jerome Beatty, Jr.

  • Joan Blos

  • Ashleigh Brilliant

  • Jean de Brunhoff

  • Joel Chandler Harris

  • Ki Longfellow

  • Richard Lovelace

  • Joe McGinniss

  • Eloise Jarvis McGraw

  • John Milton

  • Laura Salverson

  • Jonathan Sumption

  • Joanna Trollope

December 10

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn first published (1884)

  • María Bibiana Benítez

  • Philip R. Craig

  • Emily Dickinson

  • Cornelia Funke

  • Rumer Godden

  • Carolyn Kizer

  • Alfred Kreymborg

  • Clarice Lispector

  • George MacDonald

  • Jacquelyn Mitchard

December 11

  • Naguib Mahfouz

  • Thomas McGuane

  • Grace Paley

  • Diana Palmer

  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  • Ayelet Waldman

  • Keith Waldrop