The Best New Book Releases Out December 5, 2023

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

Today, Publishers for Palestine is wrapping up. The weeklong campaign was carried out by a group of 350 publishers and started on November 29th. As part of the campaign, publishers offered free ebooks by Palestinian authors.

Over on the social media front, Lyndsie Manusos writes about some authors and book-centered accounts to follow on Bluesky. My Hey YA cohost Tirzah Price and I recently lamented what I’m assuming is a widespread fatigue surrounding the idea of cultivating a new social media presence, but Lyndsie’s article gives me some hope.

And since we are still in prime gifting time, Rebecca Joines Schinsky offers up some tips for being better bookish gifters.

Now for new releases: in Romancelandia, Denise Williams is serving a spicy second-chance coding romance with Technically Yours. Evie Dunmore’s A League of Extraordinary Women series gets its fourth installation with The Gentleman’s Gambit, and This Spells Love by Kate Robb is the latest witchy rom-com. Then there’s the book that has a description I never thought I’d see. Meet the Benedettos by Katie Cotugno is described as “The Kardashians meets Pride and Prejudice” and follows a family of sisters with withering fame who get a new movie star neighbor.

Sci-fi offerings include Yours for the Taking by Gabrielle Korn, a queer tale of post-apocalyptic Brooklyn; and On the Isle of Antioch by Amin Maalouf, translated by Natasha Lehrer, which explores a world threatened by nuclear war.

For historical fiction, Asha Lemmie serves up a postwar story following a biracial woman escaping Paris who believes her father is Ernest Hemingway with The Wildest Sun.

And for the YA girlies, The Ruined by Renee Ahdieh continues the romantasy series The Beautiful, Make Me a Liar by Melissa Landers gives Veronica Mars plus transferrable consciousness (!), and Caught in a Bad Fauxmance by Elle Gonzalez Rose is a fun, queer rom-rom.

Meanwhile, the new releases mentioned below include a stunning essay collection, wild leopard girls, romantic Mexican jungle adventures, and more.

cover of Songs on Endless Repeat: Essays and Outtakes by Anthony Veasna So

Songs on Endless Repeat: Essays and Outtakes by Anthony Veasna So

Here’s another posthumous collection — following Afterparties — from an award-winning author who passed away just as his work was becoming more known. Apart from his short stories, Veasna So was also known for his nonfiction essays, which were published in publications like The New Yorker, n+1, and The Millions. This latest by him encompasses those essays — as well as a previously unpublished fictional short story — covering everything from pop culture to friendships to the lives of his refugee parents.

cover of Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu

Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu

Two girls in Nigeria are at the precipice of great change. Treasure and her mother struggled after her father died, having to beg for scraps in the marketplace just to get by. Then, a man promises to solve her problems. But his feet are hovering above the ground, and salvation through him comes at a terrible price. Then there’s Ozoemena, whose father said that the itch at the middle of her back is part of a great honor. It means she will become a Leopard capable of defending her land and people, something that girls were never before able to do. But all she wants is to fit in at her new boarding school. As the two girls travel on these new trajectories, they become wilder and soon ask the question of what girls must do to make it in the world.

cover of Raiders of the Lost Heart by Jo Segura

Raiders of the Lost Heart by Jo Segura

Okay, so first off, the title is doing what it needs to do. Secondly, though I grew up hearing about Romancing the Stone, I only just realized how much I appreciate the adventure rom-com genre because of last year’s The Lost City (starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum). In other words, I’m saying this book — with its rivals-to-lovers setup — looks like the best of times. In it, Dr. Socorro Mejía is offered her dream job of leading an expedition into the Mexican jungle to find the remains of her ancestor Chimalli, an ancient Aztec warrior. But she soon finds out she has to share the role with her handsome rival, Dr. Ford Matthews, who has been aggravating her since grad school. The two will have to put petty squabbles aside once they realize it’s them against a thief, smugglers, the Mexican authorities, and even a few non-truths between them.

cover of Perfect Little Lives by Amber and Danielle Brown

Perfect Little Lives by Amber and Danielle Brown

In this new thriller from the sister duo who gave us Someone Had to Do It, Simone reopens old wounds to find out who really killed her mother. When she was 13, her father was convicted of the crime, which catapulted her life from comfort in wealthy suburbia to barely making it. Now that she’s grown, she’s settled into a quiet life of writing book reviews, but when a true crime documentary maker hounds her for details and she runs into her childhood neighbor Hunter, the past comes flooding back. Turns out Hunter’s father and Simone’s mother were having an affair, and he stood to lose everything as a renowned judge. She sets out to find out the truth, but will she, or will her inquiries spell her undoing?

cover of Airplane Mode by Shahnaz Habib

Airplane Mode by Shahnaz Habib

Habib looks at what it means to find joy in traveling in the wake of climate change, capitalism, and the long-lasting effects of colonialism. She considers travel from a colonialist mindset — referencing everything from passports to flowers — and the history of travel while grappling with who is afforded the luxury.

cover of All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

This debut, written by an author who holds talks on autism and literary narrative, follows autistic mother Sunday. When we meet her, Sunday is settled into her routine of living with her 16-year-old daughter Dolly, eating only white foods on quiet days, and keeping her book on etiquette handy. But then a glamorous London couple, Vita and Rollo, move in next door and shake up her world. Suddenly, she feels more welcomed than ever before, but a sinister thread lies just underneath it all — Vita has always wanted a beautiful daughter like Sunday’s brilliant Dolly.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
  • The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
  • Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!