Literairyland: Jan. 23-29, 2024

This week's most buzzed-about 🐝 new books, writer birthdays, and more.

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Having been voted most gullible in high school, it's no surprise that I started Literairyland thinking I'd list all the new books each week.

According to book industry platform Edelweiss, 1,070 new books across adult fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and children's genres are hitting shelves in the U.S. this week. 🤯

But don't worry, there aren't 1,070 books below. Instead, there are 28 new books that I've seen on reading lists or that are getting a lot of chatter on social media.

I want to give lesser-known books an opportunity to shine, though, so I'm introducing a classifieds section. While not exclusively for books, this space is an excellent opportunity for authors, indie publishers, and others to highlight their titles and reach our community of avid readers.

That's all for this week. Now, on to the books!

Happy reading,
Nicholas Barron

Table of Contents


Twentieth-Century Europe: 1900 to the Present is a student-friendly textbook that provides a concise and accessible review of the significant themes and major events that shaped European history from the beginning of the twentieth century. Order it today.

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This Week’s Hottest 🔥 New Fiction


No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall

Logline: Three sisters, two murders, and too many secrets to count.

Publisher: Flatiron Books

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

Logline: A whip-smart and “fast-paced mystery” (The Daily Telegraph, London) from the internationally bestselling author of The Twyford Code and The Appeal about a true crime journalist who revives a long-buried case about a cult—and finds herself too close to the story.

Publisher: Atria Books

My Favorite Scar by Nicholás Ferraro, translated by Mallory Craig-Kuhn

Logline: A teenage girl and her gangster father embark on a road trip toward revenge in this award-winning coming-of-age Argentinian noir.

Publisher: SoHo Crime

The Clinic by Cate Quinn

Logline: From the critically acclaimed author of Black Widows comes a thriller set in a remote rehab clinic on the Pacific Northwest coast, in which the death of a woman inside prompts her sister to enter the clinic as a patient in order to find the truth. Perfect for fans of Stacy Willingham and Tarryn Fisher!

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Science Fiction

Womb City by Tlotlo Tsamaase

Logline: This genre-bending Africanfuturist horror novel blends The Handmaid’s Tale with Get Out in an adrenaline-packed, cyberpunk body-hopping ghost story exploring motherhood, memory, and a woman’s right to her own body.

Publisher: Erewhon Books


Faebound by Saara El-Arifi

Logline: Two elven sisters become imprisoned in the intoxicating world of the fae, where danger and love lie in wait. Faebound is the first book in an enchanting new trilogy from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Final Strife.

Publisher: Del Rey Books


The Breakup Tour by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley

Logline: A rising-star musician has a second chance at love with an old flame she remembers all too well in this swoony romance from the acclaimed authors of The Roughest Draft.

Publisher: Berkley Books

The Friendship Club by Robyn Carr

Logline: Four women come together at a tumultuous time in their lives, forging an unbreakable bond that will leave them all forever changed.

Publisher: Mira Books


Dead in Long Beach, California by Venita Blackburn

Logline: A gut-busting and heartbreaking descent into one woman's fraying connection to reality, from a soon-to-be superstar.

Publisher: MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Martyr! By Kaveh Akbar

Logline: A newly sober, orphaned son of Iranian immigrants, guided by the voices of artists, poets, and kings, embarks on a remarkable search for a family secret that leads him to a terminally ill painter living out her final days in the Brooklyn Museum. Electrifying, funny, and wholly original, Martyr! heralds the arrival of an essential new voice in contemporary fiction.

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Last Acts by Alexander Sammartino

Logline: Following a near-death experience, an entrepreneurial father-and-son duo wreak havoc and fend off bankruptcy in this unflinching portrayal of the absurdities of American life.

Publisher: Scribner Book Company

The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Logline: A dazzling magical realism western in the vein of Cormac McCarthy meets Gabriel García Márquez, The Bullet Swallower follows a Mexican bandido as he sets off for Texas to save his family, only to encounter a mysterious figure who has come, finally, to collect a cosmic debt generation in the making.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Young Adult

The Getaway List by Emma Lord

Logline: Inescapably romantic and brimming with New York Times bestselling author Emma Lord's signature cheer, The Getaway List is an uplifting and romantic read that will settle into your heart and never leave.

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Short Stories

Harbor Lights by James Lee Burke

Logline: A dynamic, gripping collection of short stories from "America's best novelist" (Denver Post), the New York Times bestselling James Lee Burke.

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

This Week’s Hottest 🔥 New Nonfiction


Cold Crematorium: Reporting From the Land of Auschwitz by József Debreczeni; translated by Paul Olchváry

Logline: The first English language edition of a lost memoir by a Holocaust survivor, offering a shocking and deeply moving perspective on life within the camps--with a foreword by Jonathan Freedland.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


Muse: Cicely Tyson and Me: A Relationship Forged in Fashion by B Michael

Logline: A poignant and glorious photographic memoir that pays homage to the lifelong friendship between the legendary Cicely Tyson and acclaimed fashion designer B Michael, who worked with her to make her gorgeous through her last bow.

Publisher: Amistad Press



Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine by Uché Blackstock

Logline: The rousing, captivating story of a Black physician, her career in medicine, and the deep inequities that still exist in the U.S. healthcare system.

Publisher: Viking

The Showman: Inside the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky by Simon Shuster

Logline: Acclaimed journalist Simon Shuster gives us the first inside account of the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the perspective of President Volodymyr Zelensky and his team, who granted him unprecedented access.

Publisher: William & Morrow Company

The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon by Adam Shatz

Logline: A revelatory biography of the writer-activist who inspired today's movements for social and racial justice.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Lovers in Auschwitz: A True Story by Keren Blankfeld

Logline: The incredible true story of two Holocaust survivors who fell in love in Auschwitz, only to be separated upon liberation and lead remarkable lives apart following the war--and then find each other again more than 70 years later.

Publisher: Little Brown and Company


One in a Millennial: On Friendship, Feelings, Fangirls, and Fitting In by Kate Kennedy

Logline: From pop culture podcaster and a voice of a generation, Kate Kennedy, a celebration of the millennial zeitgeist.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


Karl Lagerfeld: A Life in Houses by Marie Kalt and Patrick Mauriès

Logline: While Karl Lagerfeld was famous for being at the very center of the fashion industry for over half a century, he was equally opinionated when it came to interiors, which acted as a private creative outlet.

Publisher: Thames & Hudson


Disillusioned: Five Families and the Unraveling of America’s Suburbs by Benjamin Herold

Logline: Through the stories of five American families, a masterful and timely exploration of how hope, history, and racial denial collide in the suburbs and their schools.



Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum by Antonia Hylton

Logline: In the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a page-turning 93-year history of Crownsville Hospital, one of the nation's last segregated asylums, that New York Times bestselling author Clint Smith describes as "a book that left me breathless."

Publisher: Legacy Lit

Qayrawān: The Amuletic City by William Gallois

Logline: In the last years of the nineteenth century, the Tunisian city of Qayrawān suddenly found itself covered in murals. Concentrated on and around the city's Great Mosque, these monumental artworks were only visible for about fifty years, from the 1880s through the 1930s. This book investigates the fascinating history of who created these outdoor paintings and why.

Publisher: Penn State University Press

No available reviews

Health and Diet

The Fruit Cure: The Story of Extreme Wellness Turned Sour by Jacqueline Alnes

Logline: A powerful critique of the failures in our healthcare system and an inquiry into the sinister strains of wellness culture that prey on people’s vulnerabilities through schemes, scams, and diets.

Publisher: Melville House


And Then We Rise: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self by Common

Logline: From the multi-award-winning performer, author, and activist, a comprehensive program for addressing mental and physical health—and encouraging communities to do the same.

Publisher: HarperOne

This Week’s Hottest 🔥 New Poetry

Raised by Wolves: Fifty Poets on Fifty Poems edited by Graywolf Press Amazon | Bookshop

Logline: Raised by Wolves is a unique and vibrant gathering of poems from Graywolf Press’s fifty years.

Publisher: Graywolf Press

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Bookish Trivia 🤔

Thursday would have been author Gloria Naylor's 74th birthday. Fll in the blank to finish the name of her National Book Award-winning novel that Oprah Winfrey turned into a TV miniseries. "The Women of ______"

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This Week’s Literary Birthdays & Events

January 23

  • Roots TV miniseries based on Alex Haley's novel of the same name, debuts on ABC (1977)

  • Alan Cheuse

  • Phillip Knightley

  • Tom Reamy

  • Derek Walcott

January 24

  • Robert Louis Stevenson visits Hawaii for the 1st time (1889)

  • "The Grapes of Wrath" film, based on John Steinbeck's novel, premieres in NYC (1940)

  • Vicki Baum

  • Charles Boardman Hawes

  • E.T.A. Hoffman

  • C.L. Moore

  • Edith Wharton

January 25

  • Julia Ward Howe is 1st woman elected to National Institute of Arts & Letters (1908)

  • Russell Braddon

  • Robert Burns

  • Stephen Chbosky

  • John Cooper Clarke

  • Arne Garborg

  • Paavo Haavikko

  • Hakushū Kitahara

  • Emil Ludwig

  • Gloria Naylor

  • Margery Sharp

  • Ethel Turner

  • Virginia Woolf

January 26

  • Congress passes act placing a library in US Capitol (1802)

  • Jonathan Carroll

  • François Coppée

  • Mary Mapes Dodge

  • Philip José Farmer

  • Ugo Foscolo

January 27

  • Jules Archer

  • E.R. Braithwaite

  • Lewis Carroll

  • Lawrence Durrell

  • James Grippando

  • Mordechai Richler

  • Harvey Shapiro

  • Philip Sugden

January 28

  • Pierce Brown

  • Colette

  • Ismail Kadare

  • Valentin Kataev

  • Hermann Kesten

  • José Martí

  • Vera Williams

January 29

  • Edward Abbey

  • Anton Chekhov

  • Robin Morgan

  • Rosemary Wells

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