December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are Made for Holiday Reading

In Reading Lists - Best New Books by Lanie Pemberton

December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading
Take a break from holiday shopping, feasting, travel, and intense family time with one, or a handful, of this month’s biggest new book and audiobook releases, which include compelling fiction and nonfiction alike. Lose yourself in historical fiction ranging from a Gold Rush-era mystery by Pultizer-winning Jane Smiley to a YA heist adventure set aboard the Titanic. Magical realism, steamy vampire romance, and psychological horror also make an appearance. On the nonfiction side, start with the very first authorized biography of Elizabeth Taylor or a natural history of pesky animals. Plus, gain new perspectives to start the New Year strong with memoirs exploring self-love, cultural identity, and one of New York’s hottest industries. One thing is certain: Every holiday is merry and bright when paired with Scribd’s Best New Books.
December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

The latest by Lipsyte (Hark) follows a young rock musician in the East Village who becomes embroiled in a mystery after a bandmate steals his bass guitar for drug money. Before long, petty theft is nothing compared to murder and mayhem involving a shifty real estate tycoon. The result is a lively adventure made more entertaining by the grungy 1990s setting rife with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. 

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December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

A Dangerous Business by Jane Smiley

Travel back to 19th-century California at the height of the Gold Rush in this historical mystery by Pulitzer-winning Smiley (A Thousand Acres). Eliza and Jean, who work in the same brothel, refuse to turn a blind eye when sex workers start disappearing. Using skills learned from Edgar Allan Poe detective stories, the two women take a closer look at their clients, coworkers, and other townspeople. Despite the subject matter, A Dangerous Business is a buoyant read with feminist themes and satisfying twists.

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Weightless by Evette Dionne

Fatphobia is ingrained into our culture, argues Dionne, former editor-in-chief of Bitch Media and author of National Book Award finalist Lifting as We Climb. Weightless is a memoir of her experiences as a self-proclaimed fat Black woman, and an unapologetic critique of the institutions that foster fatphobia, including the media, healthcare, and politics. Dionne gives every reader — regardless of weight — permission to love ourselves and reject society’s demands of us.

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December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

Elizabeth Taylor by Kate Andersen Brower

You may think you know Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor, but besides her beauty and glamour and behind her eight marriages and shocking headlines was a woman who unapologetically knew her own worth — and the worth of those in need. In the very first authorized biography of Taylor’s life, Brower (Exploring the White House, First Women) draws on archived letters and photos plus interviews with friends and family to explore the real Taylor, including her work in HIV/AIDS research, prevention, and advocacy. 

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December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

Pests by Bethany Brookshire

Pest is in the eye of the beholder, or so says Brookshire’s book. Learn why humans despise some animals, adore others, and how those norms vary wildly from culture to culture. Brookshire treks across the globe and through history to report on animals from rats and pigeons to elephants and cats. This natural history also offers words to the wise, including how humans should learn to adapt to the creatures who have no choice but to adapt to us. 

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Your Table Is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina

Cecchi-Azzolina spills the tea on New York City’s hottest restaurants from the last three decades. A career maître d’, the author shares stories of misbehaving celebrities and salacious colleagues. He also answers burning industry questions we’ve all pondered, like why it takes so long to get a table. Your Table Is Ready is your all-access pass into the underbelly of hospitality — the good, the bad, the juicy, and the tasteless.

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December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

A History of Fear by Luke Dumas

Grayson Hale is a murderer — but did he act independently or did the devil make him do it? Dumas’ debut follows a journalist investigating a grad student who killed his classmate after agreeing to ghostwrite a book about Satan. The book dives into Hale’s memoirs, but the inner workings of his mind only lead to more questions. A History of Fear is a psychological horror novel with themes of mental health, the power of influence, and faith.

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Razia Mirza, a young first gen Pakistani American growing up in Queens, slowly tests the boundaries of independence from her tight-knit community. When Razia experiences newfound romantic feelings for another girl, she must choose between her true self or the person her family expects her to be. This coming-of-age saga explores identity, faith, and the immigrant experience. The 1980s setting in Corona, Queens is a character all on its own, adding an atmospheric and nostalgic tone to an already powerful story.

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December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

Acting the Part by Z.R. Ellor

When writers of the teen fantasy show Galaxy Spark decide to squash the show’s only queer relationship, actors Lily and Greta plot a fake dating scheme in real life, hoping positive press will convince the showrunners to change their minds. Meanwhile, Lily questions their gender identity after bonding with a fellow queer gamer. Acting the Part may include traditional tropes, but this YA romance digs deep into identity, sexuality, and representation while applauding brave authenticity.

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After Cliff Evans finished Columbia University, he started making his own money. By using a copy machine. Touré, the author, was one of Cliffʼs friends. This book explores how — and, more crucially, why — Cliff was working in the criminal underground even though everyone around him was telling him to stop.

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Scatterlings by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe

When South Africa passes the Immorality Act of 1927, making interracial sex a crime, the van Zijl family is irrevocably fractured. But Alisa van Zijl’s identity crisis began long before the law estranged her from her white husband, Abram, leading her to do the unthinkable. Scatterlings, a unique blend of poetic prose, folklore, and Alisa’s journal entries, is a heart-wrenching story of uncertainty and displacement, and a promising debut by Manenzhe.

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The Musician by Heloisa Prieto

Thomas is a young, talented musician able to see enchanting creatures that aid his music. When a persuasive doctor and his charming daughter hope to steal Thomas’ magic, a Guaraní shaman may be his only hope. Prieto tells a story of art and passion using Brazilian mythology and magical realism, ultimately revealing the power of nature and heritage. 

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December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar

A Million to One is a YA sapphic romance, historical fiction, and lively heist all in one. In 1912, petty thief Josefa and her motley crew of misfits board the RMS Titanic where they’ll use their various skills, from contortionism to forgery, to steal a rare and bejeweled book of poetry. Jaigirdar (The Henna Wars) builds tension via the characters’ relationships and thieving antics along with a countdown to the real disaster.

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Queen of Myth and Monsters by Scarlett St. Clair

Queen Isolde and King Adrian’s love (and lust) has only intensified since Isolde’s father turned his back on her for marrying a vampire. As political and mystical threats loom closer, Isolde must trust Adrian wholeheartedly, even though he’s carrying a terrible secret. The second book in St. Clair’s Adrian X Isolde series, following King of Battle and Blood, was named among Barnes & Noble’s best romance novels of 2022. Mature themes apply.

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December’s Best New Books and Audiobooks are made for holiday reading

Financial Feminist by Tori Dunlap

Dunlap founded Her First $100K, an advocacy and education platform for women’s financial literacy. She continues this vital work with Financial Feminist. This book explores how deeply intertwined the patriarchy and the financial industry truly are, often cutting women out of the money conversation completely. From savvy saving and spending to intelligent investing, this is an empowering and nonjudgmental financial guide for women everywhere.

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New books are a beautiful thing, but so are newish books. It’s never too late to read Scribd’s Best New Books from past months.
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About the Author: Lanie Pemberton

Lanie is a San Diego-based freelance writer with many Scribd Snapshots and recommended reading lists under her belt. She loves reading about animals and the natural world, with plenty of murder mysteries peppered in. When she needs a break from writing and reading, Lanie can be found taking long walks under the SoCal sun, usually alongside her husband and pampered pittie, Peach.

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