Literairyland: Feb. 6-12, 2024

This week's hottest 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!

This week’s email includes 17 hot new books.

Hi There,

As someone born two weeks after his due date, I realize it isn't easy to pick a specific day to have a baby.

But if you want your kid to become a successful author, you might give it a shot and aim for Feb. 8. That's the birthday of five well-known writers: Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, John Grisham, Henry Roth, and Jules Verne.

Now, it's not uncommon for two or three renowned writers to share a birthday. But five? That's as rare as a short Stephen King novel.

As we do every week, below is a list of this week's writers' birthdays and notable literary historical events. And, of course, we have a list of this week's most talked about new books.

Thanks for reading,

Table of Contents

This Week’s Hottest 🔥 New Fiction


Kingpin by Mike Lawson

Logline: The latest pulse-pounding thriller from Edgar and Barry Award finalist Mike Lawson starring his beloved Washington DC "troubleshooter" Joe DeMarco.

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Nightwatching by Tracy Sierra

Logline: A razor-sharp thriller about a mother forced to the breaking point when her life and the lives of her children are threatened by an intruder.

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Smoke Kings by Jahmal Mayfield

Logline: In the vein of Get Out and Razorblade Tears, a feast of noir fiction and probing social commentary that asks us to consider what would happen if reparations were finally charged and exacted.

Publisher: Melville House Publishing

Science Fiction

Corey Fah Does Social Mobility by Isabel Waidner

Logline: A novel that celebrates radical queer survival and gleefully takes a hammer to false notions of success.

Publisher: Graywolf Press


The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett

Logline: A Holmes and Watson-style detective duo take the stage in this fantasy with a mystery twist, from the Edgar-winning, multiple Hugo-nominated Robert Jackson Bennett.

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart: And Other Stories by Gennarose Nethercott

Logline: From the author of the breakout novel Thistlefoot: a collection of dark fairytales and fractured folklore exploring how our passions can save us--or go monstrously wrong.

Publisher: Vintage


A Love Song For Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams

Logline: In this enchanting love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Seven Days in June, a free-spirited florist and an enigmatic musician are irreversibly linked through the history, art, and magic of Harlem.

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing


Greta & Valdin by Rebecca Reilly

Logline: For fans of Schitt's Creek and Sally Rooney's Normal People, an irresistible and bighearted international bestseller that follows a brother and sister as they navigate queerness, multiracial identity, and the dramas big and small of their entangled, unconventional family, all while flailing their way to love.

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

The Women by Kristin Hannah

Logline: From the celebrated author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds comes Kristin Hannah's The Women--at once an intimate portrait of coming of age in a dangerous time and an epic tale of a nation divided.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Redwood Court by Délana R.A. Dameron

Logline: A breathtaking debut about one unforgettable Southern Black family, seen through the eyes of its youngest daughter as she comes of age in the 1990s.

Publisher: Dial Press

Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford

Logline: From "one of the most original minds in contemporary literature" (Nick Hornby) the bestselling and award-winning author of Golden Hill delivers a noirish detective novel set in the 1920s that reimagines how American history would be different if, instead of being decimated, indigenous populations had thrived.

Publisher: Scribner Book Company

Young Adult

Out of Body by Mia Davenport

Logline: A high-stakes, propulsive YA thriller with a body-swap twist thoughtfully exploring themes of friendship and identity, perfect for fans of Tiffany D. Jackson.

Publisher: HarperTeen



Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel by Margaret Atwood, Douglas Preston, and The Authors Guild

Logline: Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days is an irresistibly propulsive collaborative novel from the Authors Guild, with an unusual twist: each character in this diverse, eccentric cast of New York neighbors has been secretly written by a different, major literary voice--from Margaret Atwood and Celeste Ng to Tommy Orange and John Grisham.

Publisher: Harper

This Week’s Hottest 🔥 New Nonfiction


Get the Picture: A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See by Bianca Bosker

Logline: The New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork takes readers on another fascinating, hilarious, and revelatory journey--this time burrowing deep inside the impassioned, secretive world of art and artists.

Publisher: Viking


Dinner on Monster Island: Essays by Tania de Rozario

Logline: In this unusual, engaging, and intimate collection of personal essays, Lambda Literary Award finalist Tania De Rozario recalls growing up as a queer, brown, fat girl in Singapore, blending memoir with elements of history, pop culture, horror films, and current events to explore the nature of monsters and what it means to be different.

Publisher: Harper Perennial


Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America by Joy-Ann Reid

Logline: The host of MSNBC's The ReidOut and New York Times bestselling author of The Man Who Sold America traces the extraordinary lives and legacy of civil rights icons Medgar and Myrlie Evers, situating Medgar Evers's assassination as a catalyzing moment in American history.

Publisher: Mariner Books

Black Studies

Radical Reparations: Healing the Soul of a Nation by Marcus Hunter

Logline: A timely groundbreaking book in the vein of Derrick Bell's Faces at the Bottom of the Well, one of the country's foremost voices on reparations, offers a radical and vital new framework going beyond the current debate over this controversial issue.

Publisher: Amistad Press

Bookish Trivia 🤔

Both Judy Blume's and Elizabeth Bishop's birthdays occur this week. In what Florida city does Blume live today, and where Bishop called home in the 1930s and 1940s?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

This Week’s Literary Birthdays & Events

February 6

  • Lothar-Günther Buchheim

  • Ugo Foscolo

  • Irmgard Keun

  • John Henry Mackay

  • Christopher Marlowe

  • José María de Pereda

  • Michael Pollan

  • Anne Spencer

  • Jin Yong

February 7

  • Charles Dickens publishes "Sketches by Boz" (1836)

  • A Swiss newspaper publishes Else Lasker-Schüler's “Mein blaues Klavier" ("My Blue Piano") (1943)

  • Ashok Banker

  • Charles Dickens

  • Karen Joy Fowler

  • Hazel Hall

  • David Ignatow

  • Sinclair Lewis

  • Emma McLaughlin

  • Sy Montgomery

  • Brian Morton

  • Ricardo Palma

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder

  • Gay Talese

February 8

  • Elizabeth Bishop

  • Neal Cassady

  • John Grisham

  • Henry Roth

  • Jules Verne

February 9

  • George Ade

  • Amy Lowell

  • Brendan Behan

  • Thomas Bernhard

  • J.M. Coetzee

  • Anthony Hope

  • Natsume Sōseki

  • James Stephens

  • Alice Walker

  • Vasily Zhukovsky

February 10

  • Alexander Pushkin killed in a duel (1837)

  • E.L. Konigsburg

  • Boris Pasternak

  • Howard Spring

  • Giuseppe Ungaretti

February 11

  • Elsa Beskow

  • Lydia Maria Child

  • Patrick Leigh Fermor

  • Daniel F. Galouye

  • Else Lasker-Schüler

  • Sidney Sheldon

  • Mo Willems

  • Jane Yolen

February 12

  • Judy Blume

  • Juanita Coulson

  • S. Foster Damon

  • Charles Darwin

  • R.F. Delderfield

  • Axel Jensen

  • George Meredith

  • Joan Murray

  • Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer

  • Janwillem van de Wetering

  • Jacqueline Woodson

Did you enjoy this issue of Literairyland?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

See you next week!

An animated gif from a classic movie of a woman reading a book in a large wooden chair.