10 New Books to Read in December
This month's new releases include a tell-all memoir from a Manhattan maitre d' and a look at the pressures of modern motherhood.
Jólabókaflóð is an Icelandic word that translates as “Christmas Book Flood.” Icelanders typically give and receive books as holiday presents, leading to a large stack of books to enjoy at the end of the year. Whether you’re hoping to be gifted a book flood, or treating yourself, we have some wonderful new releases to round out 2022!
The following information is provided courtesy of the Arlington Public Library.
Dash of Salt and Pepper
By Kosoko Jackson
After losing his job and boyfriend, Xavier finds himself living in his childhood bedroom and working as a sous chef for a trendy new restaurant in his hometown. Logan is a single father who is unsure what to make of his new sous chef. He knows Xavier is only in town until he gets back on his feet, but as sparks fly in and out of the kitchen, the food isn’t the only thing at risk of getting burned. // Available December 6. Library catalog link here.
Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion
By Bushra Rehman
This coming-of-age story centers on Razia and her Pakistani-American community in 1980s Queens. Family conflict causes strife with her best friend, and a new friend inspires rebellion until Razia ends up at a select high school in Manhattan, where friendship develops into something more. A fierce examination of female friendship, queer love, and navigating family expectations with self-discovery. // Available December 6. Library catalog link here.
A Dangerous Business
By Jane Smiley
After her husband is killed, Eliza turns to one of the only professions available to unattached women in 1851 California. When fellow prostitutes start to go missing, law enforcement doesn’t show much interest in finding the culprit. Eliza and her friend Jean decide to use techniques gleaned from their favorite Edgar Allen Poe stories to catch the murderer themselves. // Available December 6. Library catalog link here.
That Dangerous Energy
By Aya de León
Struggling artist Morgan thinks she’s hit the jackpot with Sebastian—he’s heir to an oil company and is turning it green. His wealth and the promise of stability feel more important than her growing attraction to an environmental activist. Then she discovers that Sebastian is all talk, but in reality is responsible for several large ecological disasters and will do anything to stay on top. Caught in a dangerous corporate conspiracy, Morgan now must decide if she’s willing to sacrifice everything to do the right thing. // Available December 27. Library catalog link here.
Your Table is Ready: Tales of a New York City Maître D’
By Michael Cecchi-Azzolina
Michael Cecchi-Azzolina spent three decades as the head of house in some of New York’s trendiest restaurants. He now dishes on all the grime underneath the glitz and glamour, with stories about sex and drugs, mob bosses, celebrities and the New York’s changing dining scene up until the Covid shutdowns of 2020. This spill-all memoir chronicles staff misdeeds and visits from famous guests such as Tennessee Williams and Anna Wintour. // Available December 6. Library catalog link here.
Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood
By Jessica Grose
New York Times parenting columnist Jessica Grose examines the societal pressures and lack of support shaping modern motherhood. Starting with historical perspective on how changing cultural norms and social movements got us to this point, she then looks at movements for change that are currently underway. // Available December 6. Library catalog link here.
Of Ice and Men: How We’ve Used Cold to Transform Humanity
By Fred Hogge
From refrigerating food to air conditioning to making open heart surgery possible, our ability to chill has led to significant improvements in life and longevity. Fred Hogge traces the history of harnessing the cold from ancient Sumaria to the modern day, and its effects on everything from food preservation to melting ice caps. A fascinating look at an everyday concept. // Available December 6. Library catalog link here.
Tudors in Love: Passion and Politics in England’s Most Famous Dynasty
By Sarah Gristwood
Henry VIII had six wives, while Elizabeth I spent most of her reign playing potential suitors off of each other. Sarah Gristwood views the Tudors through a new lens, examining how they used the trappings of medieval courtly romance to arrange marriages and alliances for political gain. // Available December 13. Library catalog link here.
The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey
By Jason Chin
On a tour of the Sonoran Desert, a child gets distracted by a Calliope Hummingbird—the smallest bird in the United States, measuring just 8 centimeters long. While author Jason Chin’s 2020 book, Your Place in the Universe, telescoped out to the vastness of space, this companion book instead microscopes in from the bird, to a piece of hair, to cells, DNA, and eventually atoms. An artistic and scientific masterpiece. // Available December 13. Library catalog link here.
Notes from a Sickbed
By Tessa Brunton
This painfully real graphic novel is a memoir of Tessa Brunton’s experiences living with myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome). As her illness worsens over several years, she stops working and avoids social gatherings. She falls for miracle cures and deals with the unpredictability of her symptoms and recovery. Brunton’s humor balances the bleakness of her condition in this engaging and memorable comic tale. // Available December 6. Library catalog link here.