We did it, everyone. We (almost) made it to the end of 2017! This year was difficult for a lot of reasons. Between Donald Trump’s ridiculous tweets and countless sexual harassment allegations plaguing Hollywood, facing the news was tiring. But even on dark days, there was always something we could turn to for a good laugh, some important advice, or a brand new perspective: a book.
We read some incredible books from every genre this year: literary fiction, memoir, mystery, YA, sci-fi, historical, you name it. There were poetry collections to make us feel all the feels. Unique books to brighten up our coffee table. Spooky thrillers to give us a good scare. Some books sought to change our perspective on mental health. And other books tried to help us navigate politics in the first place.
Yes, books were there for us in 2017. And December’s releases are no different. There’s a sartorial memoir about body positivity, a YA love story about two neurodivergent teens who meet in detention, and a handful of titles from the runaway genre of the year: the psychological thriller.
End 2017 on a high note with these exciting new releases that you don’t want to miss!
1The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish, out December 5th
We’re so excited to use the words Tiffany, Haddish, and memoir in the same sentence. Because yes, Tiffany Haddish wrote a memoir! Her collection of essays, which spans from growing up in foster care to creating a career in comedy, is both laugh-out-loud funny and deeply affecting.
2Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini, out December 5th
You might not be familiar with the name Ada Lovelace, but you’re certainly familiar with her legacy. Lovelace is considered the first ever computer programmer, and Enchantress of Numbers tells the story of her fascinating (and too-short) life. Historical fiction STEM is the literary genre we never knew we needed.
3Roomies by Christina Lauren, out December 5th
Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, aka Christina Lauren, are the queens of contemporary romance. In Roomies, they introduce us to Calvin and Holland, who wed out of convenience so Calvin can stay in the states and pursue a career on Broadway. Of course, over time, they fall in love. Would you expect — or accept — anything less?
4You’re Not That Great by Elan Gale
Calling all Negative Nancies: This one’s for you. You’re Not That Great (but neither is anyone else) is a different kind of self-help book. Why? Because it embraces negative thinking. It’ll teach you how to put your negative thoughts to work for you, thus improving your life. Sayonara, inspirational quotes and aspirations.
5Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds, out December 5th
2017 was a big year for psychological thrillers (hi, Big Little Lies fans), and we have one more for you. Close to Me is about a woman named Jo who falls down the stairs, wakes up in the hospital with partial amnesia, and realizes she’s lost a whole year of memories. When Jo starts piecing things together, she realizes she might have been living a double life before the fall. You know you’re hooked on that premise.
6How to Write Anything by Laura Brown, out December 5th
Seriously, Laura Brown will teach you how to write ANYTHING. A resume? Done. A get well soon note? You got it. No piece of text is too small. Yes, she’ll even coach you through writing an instant message to your coworker. This incredibly handy book will be published in paperback this month, meaning you can keep a copy in your pocket or tuck one in your bag in case you need emergency writing help. (Hey, it happens.)
7Improv Nation by Sam Wasson, out December 5th
Even if you’ve never seen an improv comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, or iO, you’ve definitely felt the art form’s influence. In Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art, Sam Wasson documents the rise of improv comedy and how it became one of the most influential art forms in entertainment today. This book is the perfect gift for extreme comedy nerds and students of the craft.
8The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen, out December 5th
Remember when we said 2017 was a great year for psychological thrillers? We have one more for you. The Vanishing Season tells the story of Ellery Hathaway, a police officer in a small Massachusetts town. For the last three years, someone has disappeared from the town around the time of her birthday — the same day she was kidnapped many years ago. The date is fast approaching, and Ellery knows it’s time to get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Once again, we know you’re hooked.
9Love Stories for Turbulent Times edited by Genie D. Chipps and Bill Henderson, out December 5th
25 writers. 25 contemporary love stories. One unforgettable collection. Love Stories for Turbulent Times: Loving Through the Apocalypse is a fascinating look at the highs and lows of, well, love. You’ll laugh, cry, and feel all the feelings.
10The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel, out December 5th
We’re back with yet another — you guessed it —thriller. We can’t help it; like we said, the genre had a huge year, and The Roanoke Girls was one of our favorites. It alternates between the past and the present, telling the story of Lane, a girl who makes a shocking revelation about her late mother’s wealthy, mysterious family. And it has so many shocking twists, you need to read it for yourself to truly understand just how twisted it actually is. Get The Roanoke Girls in paperback so you can read it anywhere!
11Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm, out December 19th
There’s just something about royal families that makes it feel like Christmas. Dylan is used to living in her older sister Dusty’s shadow. Case in point: Dusty is the most popular girl in school and a former pageant queen. But when she gets engaged to Ronan, a Scottish laird-to-be, Dylan is thrust into the spotlight — literally. A reality TV camera crew invades her life as she prepares to be Dusty’s maid of honor. Of course, the producers have tons of tricks up their sleeves, and chaos ensues. Prince in Disguise is part The Royal We, part UnREAL. It’s the holiday read that’s calling your name!
12The Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat)? by Brittany Gibbons, out December 26th
You know that feeling when you hate everything in your closet? And how it looks on you? Brittany Gibbons gets it. She has a love/hate relationship with fashion. As a plus-size model and body image advocate, she wants to help women of all sizes embrace fashion and find their own personal style. The Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat)?: Adventures and Agonies in Fashion is filled with advice, musings, and solutions for avoiding those frustrating moments. While you’re at it, if you haven’t read Gibbons’ first memoir, Fat Girl Walking, you should definitely pick that up too.
13The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle, out December 26th
Abelard and Lily fell for each other over their shared interest in ancient love letters. It’s easy for them to communicate online, but it’s not so simple in person. Lily, who stopped taking her ADHD medication, always feels 30 seconds ahead of Abelard, who has Asperger’s. Their unlikely love story is sweet, heartbreaking, and incredibly human. More YA books about mental health, please.