10 December 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To

December 2016 Releases On Novels And Nonfiction

December is going to be a month split in two for me – the first half filled with my regular routine of work, blogging, socializing and some additional holiday baking, the second half spent home in Milan with my family. I can’t wait to have 2 and a half weeks with them to catch up and relax. Maybe to others, flying home to Milan twice a year sounds like a dream vacation – to me it’s really like a staycation in which I focus on catching up on sleep, reading as much as I can and spending quality time with my family.

I was hoping to find some great new titles that would be available from Net Galley or released early enough that I would be able to purchase them to take on my trip. I have to say that it was easier to find new nonfiction titles that I was excited about this month – there seemed to be a lot of fantasy, YA and romance novel releases in December rather than the thrillers and literary novels I prefer. In the end, for the fiction section, I found five novels from authors I’m not familiar with that had good advanced reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and that are based on intriguing plot premises. Hope you find something to tempt you ahead of 2017!

Nonfiction Banner

Crown Of Blood Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionCrown Of Blood
 by Nicola Tallis

Published: December 6th 2016


The story of Lady Jane Grey, The Nine-Day Queen (though she in fact reigned for 14 days), is chilling. Jane was only seventeen when she ascended to power as part of a web of intrigue that would ultimately lead to her untimely death. Despite her short reign, there’s much to be learned about this young woman’s personality and her fate from primary source materials in this new biography.

As always, I’m game for any royal biographies, especially ones about strong or misunderstood women. I have to be honest that I hadn’t heard of Lady Jane Grey’s story before – my knowledge of Tudor England tends to stop one generation before her, with the daughters of Henry VIII. I think I’ll keep this on my extended TBR list hoping to get to it sometime next year and post a review of it as an addition to my Royal Women book list.

Relentless Spirit Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionRelentless Spirit
 by Missy Franklin and D.A. and Dick Franklin

Published: December 6th 2016


Missy Franklin is a six-time Olympic medalist with five gold medals under her belt, although her Olympic career started only four years ago at London 2012 when she was all of seventeen years of age. In this memoir, Missy and her parents join efforts to reflect on the hard work, choices and sacrifices which allowed her family to support Missy in becoming the champion she is today.

I’m typically not one for athlete memoirs, but I’m fascinated by this one because the athlete’s parents are narrators alongside the athlete herself. I think the memoir has the potential of being very inspiring and of making readers want to work harder and reach further in their everyday lives. I’m also interested in reading more about the way in which Missy leveraged her faith during particularly hard times in her Olympian journey.

The Glass Universe Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Glass Universe 
by Dava Sobel

Published: December 6th 2016


The Glass Universe has a similar premise to Hidden Figures – the book about female African-American mathematicians who played a pivotal role in NASA’s space race which I included in my November 2016 book releases list. In The Glass Universe, Sobel tells the story of the many women who collaborated with male astronomers at The Harvard Observatory in the mid-nineteenth century, and of the important scientific discoveries they made or contributed to.

Though I don’t think The Glass Universe involves racial discrimination in addition to gender discrimination like Hidden Figures, I’m intrigued to read Sobel’s history because it was unusual for women of any color to be taken seriously in scientific fields at the time. In addition, some of the women of which Sobel writes came from Wellesley – the Liberal Arts college I attended – which makes me feel a kinship to them and want to learn more about them. I’ve also read Sobel’s prior book Longitude, and she made a much less intriguing topic positively riveting, so I have high expectations of her writing. This title is available for request via Net Galley.

Under The Shadow Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionUnder The Shadow
 by Kaya Genç

Published: December 9th 2016


Just like everyone else, I stared at video coming through from CNN showing the attempt by a portion of the Turkish population to overthrow Erdogan’s government in Turkey in July of this year. The images were filled with frustration at the erosion of secularism and the elimination of democratic rule that Erdogan’s government is accused of enacting.

Turkey is a hugely important nexus between Europe and the Middle East and has always had elements of each in its history, culture, government and religious tendencies. I feel that I could be much more informed about the recent unrest in the country, however, as well as it’s role in the war in Syria. I think the interviews of Turkish activists, journalists and entrepreneurs included in this book are a good place to start.


Get Your Shit Together Book Cover On Novels And Nonfiction

 Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

Published: December 27th 2016


The title of this book made me laugh out lout after a Thanksgiving weekend spent trying to divide my time between friends, volunteering, reading, spending time with my bunny and blogging. Even without work in the mix, I constantly felt like I was behind on something, which is definitely frustrating.

I don’t expect this tongue-in-cheek self-help book to solve all of my time management problems, but I do think it may provide a fresh perspective on how to think about the various things we always feel we ‘have to do’. It would probably save me some time to forget about some of the things I feel I must do but that are actually needless – time I could then reinvest in tasks that actually move my life forward. This title is available for request via Net Galley.

Fiction Banner

The Twilight Wife Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Twilight Wife 
by A.J. Banner

Published: December 27th 2016


In this thriller, marine biologist Kyra Winthrop wakes up from a diving accident with significant memory loss. Through the brief flashes she remembers of the last few years of her life, she slowly realizes that her relationships with her husband and other residents of the island she lives on have soured and changed recently. Kyra rushes to uncover as much as she can of her past while wondering who, if anyone, she can trust.

I’ve never read A.J. Banner’s novels before but I’ve been given access to this book on Net Galley after requesting it because of its captivating premise. There’s something about thrillers that include memory loss that makes the plot even more chilling – when you can’t trust your own mind, what can you hold on to, after all? With a solid 4 stars on Goodreads, and reviews by readers who couldn’t put this thriller down, it sounds like a must read for aficionados of the thriller genre. This title is available for request via Net Galley.

From Sand And Ash Book Cover On Novels And Nonfiction
From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon

Published: December 1st 2016


From Sand And Ash is a historical romance set in Italy in 1943, during the German occupation of the Italian peninsula in World War II. It’s the story of Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco, who grew up together as children but were separated by circumstance, religion and eventually Angelo’s decision to become a priest. As a Jew, Eva risks deportation at the hands of the Gestapo, and she turns to her childhood love for help.

It’s not hard to tell what drew me to this novel – it’s set in my home country. Though I’m unfamiliar with Amy Harmon, from Goodreads reviews for this novel and her previous titles, I glean that she tends to end her novels with disaster and despair rather than the usual neatly tied happy ending. I’m kind of looking forward to that, though I’m sure it’ll be heart-wrenching.

The Food Of Love Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Food Of Love
 by Amanda Prowse

Published: December 1st 2016


The Food Of Love is the story of a family that is wracked by the struggle one of its members faces with a weight disorder. Freya is happily married and has two teenage daughters – Charlotte and Lexi. Her life seems idyllic until Lexi develops anorexia and the family is powerless to control the progression of her disease.

As may be expected due to the extreme topic it addresses, the novel has polarized reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. Some thought it didn’t deal with the topic of anorexia seriously enough, while others thought it was an accurate portrayal of how the disease can affect teenagers and their families. I’m always intrigued by this kind of division in opinions about a title. I may read The Food Of Love as a Fiction Vs. Nonfiction pairing alongside a nonfiction book that deals with eating disorders or body image like Fasting Girls or The Body Project (both by Joan Jacob Brumberg).

All The Breaking Waves Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionAll The Breaking Waves 
by Kerry Lonsdale

Published: December 6th 2016

Kindle (on Kindle Unlimited)

Molly Brennan is a history professor, amateur jewelry maker and mother of eight year-old Cassie. Twelve years ago, after a tragic accident, she abandoned the life she knew and the man she loved to create a new life for herself. When Cassie begins to have nightmarish visions, Molly has to return to her former hometown and face her past.

I think what drew me to this novel is the mystery aspect, as well as  the fact that it incorporates magic into the storyline. I enjoy stories in which families of women have paranormal powers (like Practical Magic for example), and so I was intrigued by the premise of Cassie’s visions which apparently help her save her classmates from tragedy but also alienate her from her peers. Lonsdale’s debut novel Everything We Keep was well-received, and All The Breaking Waves already has great reviews on Goodreads as well.

The Marriage Lie Book Cover On Novels And Nonfiction
The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

Published: December 27th 2016


At the outset, I thought this was a romance novel with one of those dramatic cheating plots and that I wouldn’t be interested in it. When I read the actual storyline, however, I found it was a thriller with a premise that immediately captivated me and had me wanting to learn more.

The novel starts with an unexpected plane crash. Iris’ husband Will is said to have been on that plane, even though the downed plane was traveling to Seattle and Iris knows Will should actually have been on his way to Florida for a business trip. Grieving her husbands death and confused by its circumstances, Iris attempts to uncover the truth, and what she finds will change her life forever.

What December 2016 releases are you looking forward to most?

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  13 comments for “10 December 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To

  1. November 28, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I do like the look and sound of Crown Of Blood – I have always had a soft spot for historical nonfiction, especially British historical nonfiction (and historical fiction, for that matter), so I do see myself enjoying this one!


  2. N@ncy
    November 28, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    I too am not living in my ‘home country’ so I know how much fun’ being back home’ can be. I try to keep in touch with friends…even enjoying a ‘virtual Thanksgiving’ via email, foto’s and FB! If you can’t be home…at least be close.
    Now books…I’m concentrating on nonfiction in 2017. The ‘World from my Armchair’ will take up most of my time, want to read trilogy Les Thibaults (in French)…and 4 more USA political books. The December releases….’Under the Shadow’ interests me the most. As you say Turkey is ‘critical’ in European politics. I’m looking for a good ‘travel/memoir’ book about Italy. If you know of a good book (in English…) I would love to hear from you!
    Have a great holiday in Milan!


    • November 28, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Hmm you know because I’m from Italy I typically don’t read about Italy but I think a somewhat related book would be Amanda Knox’s new memoir about her experience being convicted for murder and then incarcerated in an Italian prison, only to be released a few years later. It was riveting and does provide an outsider’s perspective of the Italian court and prison system. Maybe not exactly what you were asking for but I found it riveting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • N@ncy
        November 28, 2016 at 9:15 pm

        …thanks for this suggestion. It is not really travel, but very revealing about Italian courts/prison.


  3. sarahsbookshelvesblog
    November 28, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I feel like Dec is kind of a dead month for literary fiction new releases. The only book I have on my radar is a nonfiction title (The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis). I usually catch up on earlier 2016 releases I haven’t yet read and backlist books during December.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 28, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      I read about The Undoing Project and considered it for this post but honestly I wasn’t captivated by the topic… It seemed a lot more obscure than topics covered by Michael Lewis in the past. I definitely have a million books to catch up on so I’ll probably spend my time similarly 🙂


  4. November 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Crown Of Blood sounds interesting – I am fascinated by Royal history. I have just finished the Amanda Prowse book. Not what I expected but I enjoyed it. Hope you do to. And have a wonderful trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. December 6, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Some great sounding books! 🙂


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