New Books for December 2023
December is normally a slow month for new books, but there are a few this month that I'm looking forward to reading and gifting that you might like to read too.
This year has flown by so fast, and now it’s December. Before you know it, 2024 will be here. It’s a busy season for most people, and even though I’m no longer working, I’m “feeling the busy” too. I’m excited that I can Christmas shop during the day instead of having to wait until the weekend when everyone else is shopping.
December is usually a slow month for publishing, and this year is no different. There are a few books that I’m looking forward to reading at some point and also two that I’m going to give to others as Christmas gifts this year, but for me, I’ll be mostly reading what I already own and becomes available on Libby. Stick around until the end, as I’ve got some more links to some great bookish gifts (and a few non-bookish ones, too) for the “hard to buy for” people in your life.
The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon (12-5-23) - One of my favorite authors to read has a new book, and I have it on hold with several libraries on Libby. Hopefully, I’ll receive it quickly, as I can’t wait to read it. And better yet, it’s historical fiction set in the US and has nothing to do with WWII. Inspired by the real-life diaries of an 18th-century midwife, Martha Ballard gets involved in the investigation of a man’s murder. From the Historical Novel Society, “A thoroughly engaging, rich story with a murder mystery; secrets, gossip, and hypocrisy; a corrupt judge; a tightly knit community of villagers…; turn the last page, and you will want more of this world she has created." Lawhon writes rich characters based on history, drawing the reader in and not letting go until the end. My sister-in-law enjoys historical fiction, and this is such a unique story that she will love this book.
The Kingdom, The Power, and The Glory by Tim Alberta (12-5-23) - Award-winning journalist and staff writer for The Atlantic, Alberta writes about what he sees as the “divisions that threaten to destroy the American Evangelical movement.” I’ve read some of his articles in The Atlantic. Still, I don’t know much about him or his connection to the Evangelical movement other than he was raised in the church and his father was an Evangelical preacher. The book is on my radar because I will be buying it for a relative who likes to read non-fiction and expressed interest in this book when he found out about it. I’m working with his wife to keep him from buying it himself. Wish me luck.
The Gentleman’s Gambit by Evie Dunmore (12-5-23) - This book is #4 in the League of Extraordinary Women series. I read the first book a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, but I haven’t read any others yet. Described by Jodi Picoult as a “swoon-worthy historical romance yet modernized with a dash of feminism and gender equality that makes it unlike anything else in the genre.” From author Kate Quinn, “Dunmore writes the smartest, sexiest historical romances out there.” I don’t know if I’ll read it, but I do know romance readers can’t wait to read this one.
Familia by Lauren E. Rico (12-26-23) - I enjoy reading novels about family drama and sisters, and this was recommended to me for those reasons. From the publisher, “Against the bold beauty of San Juan, a baffling genealogy test connects two twenty-something women across cultures and class in this emotional yet refreshing story about sisterhood and self-discovery.” Gabby, a fact-checker for a popular magazine, finds out that she has a sister, except if her parents were alive, they’d tell her that’s impossible. Isabella can still picture the face of a baby sister who disappeared twenty-five years ago. Follow along with both to discover the truth about what happened years ago. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and look forward to reading it later this month.
The Weekend Retreat by Tara Laskowski (12-26-23) - I love a good thriller, and this one looks like it’s my kind of escapist read. From the publisher, “Three couples. Three days. A family getaway to die for.” It’s got family, siblings, entitled people with pent-up resentments behaving badly, and who knows what else going on; just what I like in my thrillers. Compared to Big Little Lies and Desperate Housewives, described as “suspenseful, witty, and compulsively readable,” it sounds just like what I need to read right now. I’m going to check NetGalley to see if I can receive an ARC so I can read it before it publishes at the end of the month.
While December is light on books, 2024 looks to be a stellar year for great reads. Kiley Reid, Rebecca Serle, Emily Henry, Kristin Hannah, Tana French, and Ruth Reichl are just a few of the dozens of authors that have books publishing next year; I’m so excited, and I’m looking forward to a great reading year in 2024.
Gifts, Gifts, and More Gifts!!
I have a few more gift guides to share today and then the final batch on Friday this week. Amy Allen Clark from The Book Gang Podcast and Patreon has a list of “100 Unique Stocking Stuffers” and a list of the “Best Gifts for Minimalists.” There are some great gifts on the lists.is a new-to-me newsletter by author . She has a gift guide for “history lovers, readers, and travelers.” The Everygirl.com shared their “50 Best Gifts for the Homebody on Your List.” Chelsey & Sara from the Novel Parings Podcast shared their list of gifts, including a “book” tree ornament I adore.
If you have bookish people on your gift list this year, I hope you’ve found gifts for them from some of the gift guides I’ve linked to over the last couple of weeks. If you are still stumped on what to buy, most independent bookstores offer “book box” subscriptions that might just be the right gift for them.
If you have audiobook listeners in your life, there are subscription services such as Libro.fm, Scribd, and Audible that you can gift a membership to. You can also buy audiobooks without a subscription at companies like Chirp, Audiobooks.com, and Christian Audio.
I’ve got shopping and reading on my schedule for this week. I’ve also got a couple of online book club meetings and events; those should be so much fun. I’m training this week and next for volunteering at my library and the “Friends of the Library” bookstore. I hope you have a great week and can knock a few gifts off your list; save time to read a little, too. Happy reading!
Some of the links in this newsletter may be affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase anything, I may earn a small commission. This costs you nothing and helps me feed my voracious reading habit, and for that, I thank you.