10 new books for December


1

BEASTS OF A LITTLE LAND, BY JUHEA KIM

Set against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation of Korea, Kim’s debut novel follows a hunter, Japanese soldier, orphan, and young girl sold to a courtesan school as their paths collide and merge, forging bonds that will reverberate for decades. The story takes these characters from Seoul to the forests of Manchuria as they participate in events that will shape the destiny of their country. Ecco, December 7

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2

CALL US WHAT WE WEAR: POEMS, BY AMANDA GORMAN

Gorman was the youngest presidential inaugural poet in history, and his highly anticipated debut poetry book explores themes of identity, language and culture through the lens of grief caused by the COVID-19 pandemic . As heavy and sober as they are, Gorman’s poems are full of grace and hope. Viking, December 7

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3

COLOR THE ZODIAC, BY CHRISTINA HABERKERN

Just in time for the Christmas presents here is this Haberkern coloring book. Coloring the zodiac is packed with history and information about each zodiac sign, as well as intricate and quirky designs for enterprising readers to fill out. Grab some colored pencils (or crayons, for all the purists) and get creative. Plume, December 7

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4

CREATIVE TYPES: AND OTHER STORIES, BY TOM BISSELL

The co-author of The artist of disaster returns with this collection of short fictions, centered on the dilemmas of the artistic and the political. In one story, a married couple hires an escort, but runs into a roadblock when the husband is put off by the escort’s “CLA $$ Y LADY” tattoo. In another, Bissell parodies an assistant to a celebrity host Saturday Night Live. Books of the Pantheon, December 14

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5

THE DEATH OF MY FATHER THE POPE: A MEMORY, BY OBED SILVA

Silva spent her childhood commuting between her mother in California and her father in Chihuahua, Mexico, until her father became drunk with liver failure. This memoir is an exploration of Silva’s grief, despite (or perhaps because of) her father’s alcoholism and his tendency to love and abuse to the extreme. MCD, December 7

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6

A HISTORY OF WILD PLACES, BY SHEA ERNSHAW

No resident of a northern California town called Pastorale is allowed to travel beyond its borders for fear of bringing back disease. But when a resident tests the rules of the commune, he discovers family secrets and evidence of criminality: two people who visited the commune have since disappeared. This thriller is the first adult thriller from young adult author Ernshaw. Atria Books, December 7

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7

IMA AND COLI ARE THE TREE THAT WAS NEVER A SEED / IMA Y COLI SON EL ARBOL QUE NUNCA FUE SEMILIA, BY ALEJANDRO PÉREZ-CORTÉS

In this collection of poetry, published in Spanish and English, Pérez-Cortés shoots images of his hometown of Colima, Mexico: ancient Colima, pre-Hispanic and Colima today. The tree in the title of the book becomes a character in its own right, as it dances in and out of these poems. Akashic, December 7

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8

NO HUMANS INVOLVED, BY ANN PHILBIN, ERIN CHRISTOVALE, ANTHONY BOGUES, ZAKIYYAH IMAN JACKSON, SYLVIA WYNTER

In this exhibition catalog, contemporary artists answer a question posed in 1994 by Jamaican scholar Wynter, following the discovery that police are calling cases involving black and Latino men and sex workers “No”. Humans Involved ”: How do we participate in a mentality that has led to such exclusion? No humans involved presents assemblages, photographs and sculptures. Delmonico Press / Hammer Museum, December 21

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9

REIMAGINING SUSTAINABLE CITIES: STRATEGIES TO DESIGN GREENER, HEALTHIER AND MORE EQUITABLE COMMUNITIES, BY STEPHEN M. WHEELER AND CHRISTINA D. ROSAN

Co-authored by a professor of human ecology and a professor of geography and urban studies, this book presents a solution-oriented approach to modernizing cities to mitigate climate change. At the same time, Wheeler and Rosan’s analysis takes into account the societal changes needed beyond infrastructure. Their book postulates the restructuring of political and economic systems for the sake of social and racial equity to create sustainable and network-neutral urban spaces. University of California Press, December 7

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ten

TELL ME HOW TO BE, BY NEEL PATEL

A year after his father’s death, Akash returns from Los Angeles to help his mother, Renu, tidy up his childhood home in Illinois. The process stirs up memories of past choices and relationships. Renu sends messages to a lost love, while Akash cannot escape the memories of his first grief and the secrets he has kept since. This novel tells the story of a mother and her son who learn to grow up together. Iron, December 7

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