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New Arrivals for December: Notable Book Releases Updated Weekly

Tertulia •
Dec 11st, 2023

Notable releases for December include the dystopian Irish novel that won this year’s Booker Prize, a historical murder mystery starring a famed 18th-century midwife, the life and times of a pioneering jazz legend a fascinating travelogue through the roads of the Roman Empire, plus a TikTok star’s laugh-out-loud guide to modern dating.

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Notable Releases for the Week of December 12, 2023


The Stage Kiss by Amelia Jones

In this debut rom-com, two actors in a Broadway production of Jane Austen’s classic novel of manners get caught up in their own drama - on stage and off. "Things heat up backstage in Jones' slow-burning enemies-to-lovers debut... Echoes of Pride and Prejudice add even more fun... This is a treat," raved Publishers Weekly.

Churn: An Illustrated Novel-In-Stories by Chloe Chun Seim

In a debut Kirkus called an “inventive and deeply felt coming-of-age” story, two Korean-American siblings raised poor on a Kansas farm are forever changed following an otherworldly encounter during a strange family outing.


I Didn't Know I Needed This: The New Rules for Flirting, Feeling, and Finding Yourself by Eli Rallo

A TikTok star’s laugh-out-loud guide to modern dating that’s filled with tips for flirting, first dates, self-love, and more. This irreverent debut captures what it's really like to date as a young woman in the modern world, from sending and deleting risky DMs, to climbing down frat house gutters, and other relationship do’s and don’ts. *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

Following Caesar: From Rome to Constantinople, the Pathways That Planted the Seeds of Empire by John Keahey

All paths lead to this fascinating exploration of the Roman Empire via the lens of its most famous roads, from Italy to Greece to Turkey. It’s an eye-opening travelogue by the author of Hidden Tuscany that “chronicles his three-month journey to walk the very stones Julius Caesar did some 2,000 years ago...This winsome and deeply researched account will spellbind readers,” remarked Publishers Weekly.

How to Draw a Novel by Martin Solares

An acclaimed Mexican crime writer’s innovative collection of essays on the art of writing fiction. Filled with the author’s own drawings and diagrams, “this craft collection examines the novel in all its forms, exploring structure, how writers discover characters, and the importance of place (or not). An important and beautifully rendered craft book,” observed LitHub.  

The Complications: On Going Insane in America by Emmett Rensin

In this remarkable blend of memoir, cultural commentary and history of mental health in America, a former Vox editor candidly recounts his lifelong struggles with severe mental illness. “An intimate look at a tormented mind,” praised Kirkus.

The Unofficial Genshin Impact Cookbook: Boost Attacks, Increase Defense, and Restore Your Health with 60 Adventurous Recipes Inspired by the Fan-Favorite by Kierra Sondereker

The perfect gift for foodie gamers is here! Savor the flavors of the Best Mobile Game of 2021, with this fun cookbook featuring 60 action-packed dishes like Crispy Potato-Shrimp Balls, Pearl & Jade Soup and other yummy treats inspired by the hit action role-playing game.

Curepedia: An A-Z of the Cure by Simon Price

The perfect gift for the goth or eighties fanatic in your life that looks back on four decades of the legendary British band behind megahits like Boys Don’t Cry and Friday I’m in Love. It’s a unique A-to-Z biography filled with quirky facts, tours, albums, and more from a veteran music journo and self-confessed The Cure superfan. 

Notable Releases for the Week of December 4, 2023


Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

The freshly announced winner of this year’s Booker Prize is a dystopian novel set in a near future Ireland, where a scientist fights to keep her family together as Ireland slips into totalitarianism following the rise of the rightwing National Alliance party. “A triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave…Readers will find it soul-shattering and true, and will not soon forget its warnings,” remarked judging chair Esi Edugyan. *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

Orbital by Samantha Harvey

Join six men and women from America, Russia, Italy, Britain and Japan orbiting Earth at over seventeen thousand miles per hour in this slender, mesmerizing novel that “satisfies both my lifelong obsession with space travel and my hunger for sentences and paragraphs that demand to be read and reread. A day in the life of six astronauts aboard the International Space Station, that’s all, but my goodness this novel is beautiful,” raved novelist Mark Haddon. *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

Here in the Dark by Alexis Soloski

A suspenseful debut from a New York Times culture reporter and former lead theater critic at The Village Voice about a young theater critic investigating a mysterious murder. "Soloski combines her knowledge of the theater world with the twists and turns of the best psychological suspense," declared Entertainment Weekly. *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac: Stories by Louise Kennedy

The Irish author of Trespasses returns with a collection of brilliant, dark stories about women's lives that are “dazzling, heartbreaking…keen to share the lessons of a lifetime,” according to The Guardian.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

The latest from the Code Name Hélène author is a historical mystery inspired by the life and diary of Martha Ballard, an 18th-century midwife investigating a murder in her small town. NPR chose this “most uncozy mystery that addresses the unbalanced power dynamics of men and women, rich and poor” as a Best Book of 2023.

The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner

The author of Greenwich Park is back with a gripping thriller that explores murder, class, and motherhood in an exclusive London community, delivering a story that "grips from start to shocking finish," according to Publishers Weekly.

The Wildest Sun by Asha Lemmie

The latest historical novel by the author of Fifty Words for Rain follows a young woman who travels from France to Harlem, Havana and Key West to track down the man she believes is her father and literary idol - legendary author Ernest Hemingway. Kirkus called it a “touching coming-of-age tale… with an engaging protagonist." *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

Raiders of the Lost Heart by Jo Segura

Entertainment Weekly calls this debut romance a thrilling mix of Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones as two rival archaeologists with a complicated past unite for a secret Aztec expedition that sizzles with on-site chemistry, jungle adventure and an explosive finale. 

The Heir Rises by Alice Hanov

In the third installment of The Head, the Heart, and the Heir YA fantasy series, princess Alexandria confronts lost memories and mysterious sorcerers to save her love and unravel dark secrets before her impending marriage.

Queen of Heaven by Jose Mercado Ventura

In this futuristic tale of love and despair set in 2092, widower Michael Acosta ponders a bold journey to Mars to escape his anguish. 

Kafka's Son by Szilárd Borbély

A posthumous masterpiece by a celebrated Hungarian poet that probes Czech writer Franz Kafka’s tormented relationship with his father Hermann. “Kafka fans will enjoy this,” remarked Publishers Weekly, which found a moving exploration of “how much anyone can understand another, whether a father and son, or a reader and writer.” *A Tertulia staff pick for December.


Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel by Shahnaz Habib

Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals of Excellence, this thought-provoking exploration of  what it means to travel as a person of color from the developing world “should be required reading for anyone who has trouble finding travelogues outside the canon of privileged white writers (think Paul Theroux, Sarah Gilbert, Bruce Chatwin)” according to the LA Times.

The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism by Tim Alberta

The Atlantic staff writer Tim Alberta, the son of an evangelical preacher, investigates how American religious extremism has reached a new height in pockets of conservative Christians — all through the personal lens of his own faith and religious practice. This book examines the power that Evangelicals have amassed, the cost it took to acquire it, and the senior leaders who abuse it.

The Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder by Douglas Preston

“If Indiana Jones had kept a diary, it might have read much” like these gripping tales of pirate treasure, mysterious deaths and other archaeological adventures, hailed Alta Journal. And it’s the perfect gift for fans of the author’s bestselling The Lost City of the Monkey God and archaeology buffs who’ve wondered how it feels to enter an Egyptian burial chamber that's been sealed for thousands of years.

Black TV: Five Decades of Groundbreaking Television from Soul Train to Black-Ish and Beyond by Bethonie Butler

A veteran Washington Post TV reporter looks back at fifty years of pioneering TV shows centered on Black people, from underappreciated sleepers you may have forgotten about to breakout hits like Soul Train, A Different World and The Jeffersons. This illustrated book is the perfect gift for the pop culture lover in your life. *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

The Rest Is History: From Ancient Rome to Ronald Reagan—History's Most Curious Questions, Answered by Goalhanger Podcasts

From Alexander the Great to Agatha Christie, the Wars of the Roses to Watergate, this companion book to the UK’s wildly popular podcast answers all of your burning questions about the biggest events from world history. *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song by Judith Tick

This fascinating new portrait of the groundbreaking musical icon is “essential for casual fans of jazz and music history and Fitzgerald aficionados alike…As masterful and wonderful as its subject,” hailed Kirkus

The Book at War: How Reading Shaped Conflict and Conflict Shaped Reading by Andrew Pettegree

From Churchill’s use of a travel guide to plan the invasion of Norway, to the role of libraries during the great wars, and more, this is an “endlessly fascinating” exploration of the relationship between war and the printed word, according to the Irish Times

The Times That Try Men's Souls: The Adams, the Quincys, and the Battle for Loyalty in the American Revolution by Joyce Lee Malcolm

The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold author turns her attention to the heavy burden placed on war-torn families during the American Revolution in this “eye-opening investigation into a lesser-known aspect of America's founding," observed Publishers Weekly.

Water and Peace: A Journey Through the World's Most Explosive Conflict Zones in Search of Deep Water by Alain Gachet

A NASA-endorsed nuclear physicist known as the "Wizard of H2O” for his ability to unearth hidden aquifers in war torn countries explores the relationship between drinking water and conflict, while outlining his innovative solutions for the future.   

Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning by Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney's memoir offers a sharp critique of the GOP and their handling of the January 6th investigation, including new info about former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. In the book she explains why she "felt the need to risk her career, seat, and leadership responsibilities to do what she knew was right."


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

The collected essays and unpublished fiction of the late, bestselling author of Afterparties that explore his Cambodian-American family, queer desire, pop culture, race and other topics with trademark wit and humor. “This posthumous collection of stories and essays affirms [So's] versatility, secures his legacy, and bittersweetly reminds us of what could have been,” observed The Millions. *A Tertulia staff pick for December.

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