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    Read these great books published by Lit Hub staff members in 2023.

    Literary Hub

    December 11, 2023, 12:52pm

    As you probably know, Literary Hub is produced by a small staff; most of us are writers, and/or moonlight as editors on other projects. This year, four of our number—that would be 36% percent of full time Literary Hub staffers, not too shabby—published books, which is certainly worthy of celebration. (Unfortunately, all they’re getting is this blog post.) So if you want to support Lit Hub but fear the commitment of membership . . . buy these books!

    Hopeton Hay, Scott Montgomery, Molly Odintz (eds.), Austin Noir

    Hopeton Hay, Scott Montgomery, Molly Odintz, eds., Austin Noir
    (Akashic Books, May 2)

    Molly’s elevator pitch: Austin Noir, the collection I co-edited with Scott Montgomery and Hopeton Hay, came out in May, and just like a late-Soviet-Era apartment complex, it’s chock-full of people killing other people over housing. The 14 stories included in this collection take place all over town, and settings include two housing cooperatives, one housing intersection, one parking lot, one empty lot, one parking garage, and one giant hole in the ground, among others. Austin’s a rapidly changing city, now the tenth largest in the United States and set to grow exponentially more, and the stories in the anthology capture a particular moment in Austin’s development, one in which residents are caught between old and new, affordable and luxury, small town friendliness and big city alienation. I urge anyone to read it before they consider moving to the city. We hear Dallas is nice.

    The critics say: “A perfect testament to Austin’s ability to look backward while moving forward.” –Kirkus

    Jessie Gaynor, The Glow
    (Random House, June 20)

    Jessie’s elevator pitch: What if a somewhat unlikeable (thank you, G**dreads reviewers, I know!), uncomfortably self-aware wellness skeptic, mired in medical debt, decided to make a go of it as the publicist for a woo-woo, (extremely) hot girl-helmed wellness retreat, despite being both skeptical and envious of both hot girls and wellness? Will she learn to stop worrying and love medicinal zucchini and orgasmic meditation? Will she go on a journey of spiritual growth? And most importantly: How dewy will she get, exactly? To find out, you’ll have to read my (funny!) book.

    The critics say: A “wryly funny [and] fabulous debut novel, The Glow, is a deft sendup of wellness culture that delves a few levels deeper. Punching up at the Goop set is easy; what’s harder is empathizing with them.” –Olivia Craighead, The New York Times

    goblin mode

    McKayla Coyle, Goblin Mode: How to Get Cozy, Embrace Imperfection, and Thrive in the Muck
    (Quirk Books, June 27)

    About the book: Embrace your inner goblin! Learn to decorate, dress, craft,  forage, and live according to the goblin principles of community, diversity, proud weirdness, and joyful mess.

    Anyone can be a goblin, and Goblin Mode includes life advice for celebrating physical and mental diversity, rejecting prejudice, and generally hanging on to a little joy.

    Featuring 25 whimsical illustrations by Marian Churchland, Goblin Mode will help you rethink your relationship with your body, your home, your community, and the earth.

    The critics say: “For readers who think Marie Kondo is too spare and hygge is too cute, Goblin Mode could be the lifestyle they’re looking for.” –Booklist

    “I love a guide that teaches me how to amplify and expand on things that bring me happiness. This book—which focuses on embracing and appreciating our place in nature—does make me feel better.” –The Boston Globe

    Dwyer Murphy, The Stolen Coast
    (Viking, July 11)

    Dwyer’s elevator pitch: Adrift in a sleepy coastal Massachusetts town, a man who ferries fugitives by day gets twisted up in a plot to pilfer diamonds in this Casablanca-infused heist novel.

    The critics say: “A twisty, enthralling heist yarn . . . [Murphy] deftly conjures a universe of hucksters and operators that’s sodden with atmosphere, crisscrossed with shadows (literal and moral) and loaded with the threat of a double cross any time . . . Through it all, Murphy’s language is precise and evocative, with nary a word set wrong. . . . smart and satisfying.” –The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice

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