Grown-Up Reads

The Best Grown-Up Reads of December 2018

by Jennie Yabroff

Photo credit: jayk7, Moment Open/Getty Images

As the holidays approach and the year draws to a close, we might be feeling a bit stressed out, a bit overwhelmed, and in search of some solace and inspiration to make it through the final push to 2019. Fret not — we’ve rounded up an eclectic selection of books to make your holidays both calmer and brighter, whether you’re looking to improve your home, diet, or mind, or to simply escape with a page-turner that will take you to another world.

  • Speeches of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Orations Deserving of a Wider Audience

    by Shaun Usher

    “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” “Ask not what your country can do for you.” “I have a dream.” We all know these famous speeches, but what about the words Nixon had prepared in the event astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got stuck on the moon? Or the life advice a graduating class received from Kermit the Frog? In this collection of orations by the curator of Letters of Note and Lists of Note, you’ll find new inspiration from unlikely sources.
    (On sale: 12/4/18)

  • Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018

    edited by David Kipen

    What do Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, a Spanish missionary, and Anaïs Nin have in common? They all lived or spent time in Los Angeles, and were sufficiently impressed by the city to put their thoughts about it down on paper. In this vast and eclectic collection of writings about La-La Land, some of which date back to centuries before the Hollywood sign, we get a view of the myriad ways people have tried to make sense of the LA experience, and how the city continues to defy expectations.
    (On sale: 12/4/18)

  • North of Dawn

    by Nuruddin Farah

    In this piercing and thought-provoking novel, Somali writer Farah explores what happens when an assimilated couple is confronted with the actions of their radicalized son. Gacalo and Mugdi are Somalis living peacefully in Oslo, assuming their country’s strife is behind them. But their son, back in Somalia, gets caught up in the world of jihadism, and pays the ultimate price. An exploration of family, belief, and the impossibility of separating where you came from where you are, this novel won’t soon leave you.
    (On sale: 12/4/18)

  • The Dakota Winters

    by Tom Barbash

    To clarify: The Dakota in the title of this novel refers to a famous New York City apartment building, not a set of states in the Midwest. And the Winters in the title is the name of a family, not a series of seasons. The Winters live in the Dakota, the real-life building where John Lennon lived — and where he was shot in 1980. The year is 1979, and the family is trying to come to grips with their fracturing members, the dizzying culture, and their strained relationships. At turns hilarious and poignant, the novel will keep you turning pages for the celebrity cameos and glimpses of a distant era.
    (On sale: 12/4/18)

  • Pandemic

    by Robin Cook

    On the 100th anniversary of the great flu epidemic of 1918, Americans face a new health threat — this one entirely manmade. In Cook’s latest medical thriller, cutting-edge gene-altering technology and age-old human greed combine in a world where a deadly virus may alter the face of the planet. As Doctor Jack Stapleton races to find a cure, he realizes the lives he saves might include his own.
    (On sale: 12/11/18)

  • The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox: The Essential DIY Guide to a Healthier, Cleaner, All-Natural Life

    by Katie Wells

    Ready to get back to basics? In this simple and accessible guide, wellness guru (and perfectly named) Katie Wells teaches you how to use whole, natural, everyday ingredients like cinnamon, honey, and lavender to make your own cosmetics, cleaners, medicines, and family meals. She also offers a guide for that most challenging of detoxes — taking a break from all things digital.
    (On sale: 12/11/18)

  • The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life

    by Joshua Becker

    More than merely an exhortation to throw away our extra stuff, this book is an examination of why we accumulate so many things in the first place and what we can do to stop the endless cycle of acquisition. Our homes should be places of refuge, solace, and peace, but in order to feel truly calm in our living spaces, we need to pare back to what is truly essential and beneficial. This book offers suggestions how to get more from less.
    (On sale: 12/18/18)

  • Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Acceptance

    by Haemin Sunim

    Sometimes the simplest advice can be the hardest to take. Start by being yourself, Zen Buddhist monk Haemin Sunim advises in this book advocating self-acceptance. Once you learn to love, accept, and care for yourself, you’ll be able to extend that generosity outward to the most important relationships in your life. Easy to read, hard to do … but this book will help you try.
    (On sale: 12/24/18)

  • The Boy

    by Tami Hoag

    In this latest thriller by bestselling author Hoag, the tragedy of a murdered boy is compounded by the mystery around the circumstances of the crime. The boy was brutally slain but his mother, the only witness, was spared. As detectives Nick and Annie investigate the crime, they have to determine if the mother is grieving victim, coldblooded killer, or their key to solving the ever-deepening mystery.
    (On sale: 12/31/18)

What books are you looking forward to picking up this month? Let us know in the comments below!