December Adult Picks

December Adult Picks

Libraries run on a schedule opposite to retail’s. That means that while the malls are packed with desperate holiday shoppers and department stores are hiring extra seasonal help, the library is quieter than usual, and fewer books are being released. I like to use the quiet at the library as an opportunity to get a head start on my work for January and February, and I like to use the lull in publishing as a chance to catch up on all the books from earlier this year that I never got around to. But quiet isn’t silent; there are still a few upcoming releases that I’m excited about. Therefore, this month’s picks are 3 December releases and 7 books from earlier in the year, that I still haven’t found the time fore.

lykkeThe Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking (out December 26th)
Join the happiness revolution! The author of the New York Times bestseller The Little Book of Hygge offers more inspiration and suggestions for achieving greater happiness, by practicing Lykke (LOO-ka)—pursuing and finding the good that exists in the world around us every day. Meik identifies the six factors that explain the majority of differences in happiness across the world—togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness—and explores what actions we can take to become happier.

 

meditationMeditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book by Dan Harris (out December 26th)
Harris, an ABC news anchor whose panic attack on live television ultimately led him to embrace meditation, and his friend Jeff Warren, a masterful teacher and “Meditation MacGyver,” embark on a cross-country quest to tackle the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that stop people from meditating. They create a taxonomy of the most common issues (“I suck at this,” “I don’t have the time,” etc.) and offer up science-based life hacks to help people overcome them.

 

no timeNo Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. LeGuin (out December 5th)
Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice—sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical—shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula’s online writing, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her unceasing wonder at it: “How rich we are in knowledge, and in all that lies around us yet to learn. Billionaires, all of us.”

 

liesLies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright (released in November)
Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she’s been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she’s good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake’s younger brother, Lucas.

 

hiddenseeHiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by Gregory Maguire (released in October)
This book imagines the backstory of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann’s mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s fairy tale ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter. As with his previous novels, including Wicked, this is not just a retelling of the classic story.

 

chasing lightChasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer by Amanda Lucidon (released in October)
Michelle Obama is one of the most admired First Ladies in history, known for her grace, spirit, and beauty, as well as for the amazing work she did during her tenure to promote girls’ education, combat childhood obesity, and support military families. In Chasing Light, former White House photographer Amanda Lucidon, who spent four years covering the First Lady, shares a rare insider’s perspective, from documenting life at the White House to covering domestic and overseas travel. This collection of 150 candid photos—many previously unreleased—and Amanda’s narrative reflections reveal just what makes Mrs. Obama so special. From an affectionate moment with her daughters atop the strikingly empty Great Wall of China to exuberant moments with schoolchildren and quiet moments between the First Lady and President Obama, the photos are a vibrant, candid, and beautiful celebration of the First Lady, capturing the qualities and strengths that have made Mrs. Obama so beloved.

 

unkindnessAn Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard (released in September)
In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it. Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.

 

secret marvelsSecret Marvels of the World: 360 Extraordinary Places You Never Knew Existed and Where to Find Them by Lonely Planet (released in August)
This packed and fascinating title takes its readers on a journey through the world’s lesser known marvels. Dive into an underworld of the planet’s most surprising, fun, perplexing, kitsch and downright bizarre sights – and explore human stories and mysterious happenings that you won’t find inside a regular guidebook. From eerie natural wonders to historical oddities and bizarre architecture, this is a travel companion for the incurably curious.

 

making ofThe Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea by Christopher J. Lebron (released in June)
The Making of Black Lives Matter presents a condensed and accessible intellectual history that traces the genesis of the ideas that have built into the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Drawing on the work of revolutionary black public intellectuals, Lebron clarifies what it means to assert that “Black Lives Matter” when faced with contemporary instances of anti-black law enforcement.

 

double bindDouble Bind: Women on Ambition edited by Robin Romm (released in April)
Even as toweringly successful women from Gloria Steinem to Beyoncé embrace the word “feminism,” the word “ambition,” for many, remains loaded with ambivalence. Women who are naturally driven and goal-oriented shy away from it. They’re loath to see themselves—or be seen by others—as aggressive or, worst of all, as a bitch. Double Bind could not come at a more urgent time, a necessary collection that explodes this conflict, examining the concept of female ambition from every angle in essays full of insight, wisdom, humor, and rage. Featuring contributions from Roxane Gay, Francine Prose, Nadia Manzoor, and more.