December 2022 Adult Top 10 Picks

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  1. A Dangerous Business
    by Jane Smiley
    Knopf
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardback
    A Dangerous Business
    by Jane Smiley
    Knopf
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardback
    From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling author of A Thousand Acres: a mystery set in 1850s Gold Rush California, as two young prostitutes, best friends Eliza and Jean, attempt to find their way in a lawless town on the fringes of the Wild West—a bewitching combination of beauty and danger—as what will become the Civil War looms on the horizon.

    “Everyone knows that this is a dangerous business, but between you and me, being a woman is a dangerous business, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise..."

    Monterey, 1851. Ever since her husband was killed in a bar fight, Eliza Ripple has been working in a brothel. It seems like a better life, at least at first. The madam, Mrs. Parks, is kind, the men are (relatively) well behaved, and Eliza has attained what few women have: financial security. But when the dead bodies of young women start appearing outside of town, a darkness descends that she can't resist confronting. Side by side with her friend Jean, and inspired by her reading, especially by Edgar Allan Poe’s detective Dupin, Eliza pieces together an array of clues to try to catch the killer, all the while juggling clients who begin to seem more and more suspicious.

    Eliza and Jean are determined not just to survive, but to find their way in a lawless town on the fringes of the Wild West—a bewitching combination of beauty and danger—as what will become the Civil War looms on the horizon. As Mrs. Parks says, "Everyone knows that this is a dangerous business, but between you and me, being a woman is a dangerous business, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise ..."
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  2. The Tudors in Love
    by Sarah Gristwood
    St. Martin's Press
    Dec 13, 2022
    HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Tudor & Elizabethan Era (1485-1603)
    Hardback
    The Tudors in Love
    by Sarah Gristwood
    St. Martin's Press
    Dec 13, 2022
    HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Tudor & Elizabethan Era (1485-1603)
    Hardback

    Sarah Gristwood's The Tudors in Love offers a brilliant history of the Tudor dynasty, showing how the rules of romantic courtly love irrevocably shaped the politics and international diplomacy of the period.

    Why did Henry VIII marry six times? Why did Anne Boleyn have to die? Why did Elizabeth I's courtiers hail her as a goddess come to earth?

    The dramas of courtly love have captivated centuries of readers and dreamers. Yet too often they're dismissed as something existing only in books and song--those old legends of King Arthur and chivalric fantasy.

    Not so. In this ground-breaking history, Sarah Gristwood reveals the way courtly love made and marred the Tudor dynasty. From Henry VIII declaring himself as the ‘loyal and most assured servant' of Anne Boleyn to the poems lavished on Elizabeth I by her suitors, the Tudors re-enacted the roles of the devoted lovers and capricious mistresses first laid out in the romances of medieval literature. The Tudors in Love dissects the codes of love, desire and power, unveiling romantic obsessions that have shaped the history of the world.

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  3. The Lost Witch
    by Paige Crutcher
    St. Martin's Griffin
    Dec 27, 2022
    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / Witches
    Paperback / softback
    The Lost Witch
    by Paige Crutcher
    St. Martin's Griffin
    Dec 27, 2022
    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / Witches
    Paperback / softback

    Paige Crutcher, author of the “mystical, magical, and wildly original”* The Orphan Witch, weaves a spellbinding tale of contemporary fantasy, romance, and Irish mythology as a woman torn out of time faces a dangerous coven, otherworldly creatures, and a seductive demi-god to save the souls of a cursed island in The Lost Witch.

    1922. The town of Evermore off the coast of Ireland is under the protection of a Goddess. She has bestowed power upon village healer Brigid Heron to ensure the heart of magic within the Lough of Brionglóid—the lake of dreams—remains untouched. For the witches of Knight want to absorb its powerful energies and release the Damned from the Otherworld. Brigid has devoted her whole life to being Evermore’s guardian, immersing herself in witchcraft, and sacrificing her own dreams. Until Luc Knightly, a trickster god with his own claim on the lough, offers Brigid her heart’s desire in exchange for betraying her Goddess’s trust.

    2022. A century later, Evermore is under siege. The witches of Knight wield chaos magic, opening the rift between the island and the Otherworld wider every day. Beings born from folklore nightmares prey on the villagers, consuming their very humanity. Ophelia Gallagher, Brigid’s descendent, and her fellow witch Finola McEntire do their best to keep the monsters and mayhem at bay.

    Brigid awakens in this world with no memory of how she traveled into the future, and why Evermore has been cursed. To seal the lough and stop the witches of Knight, she must work with Ophelia and Finola to help her remember the events of a hundred years ago. But the knowledge she seeks lies with Luc Knightly himself--mysterious, handsome, and powerful--and the one who once upon a time granted Brigid her dearest wish—a daughter.

    To save Evermore, Brigid may have to lose her daughter—again…

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  4. How to Calm Your Mind
    by Chris Bailey 'Canada'
    Random House Canada
    Dec 27, 2022
    SELF-HELP / Self-Management / Stress Management
    Hardback
    How to Calm Your Mind
    by Chris Bailey 'Canada'
    Random House Canada
    Dec 27, 2022
    SELF-HELP / Self-Management / Stress Management
    Hardback
    A toolkit of accessible, science-backed strategies that reveal that the path to a less anxious life, and even greater productivity, runs directly through calm.

    When Chris Bailey, productivity expert, discovered that he had become stressed and burnt out because he was pushing himself too hard, he realized that he had no right to be giving advice on productivity without learning when and how to rein things in and take a break. Productivity advice works—and we need it now more than ever—but it’s just as important that we also develop our capacity for calm. By finding calm and overcoming anxiety, we don’t just feel more comfortable in our own skin, we invest in the missing piece that leads our efforts to become sustainable over time. We build a deeper, more expansive reservoir of energy to draw from throughout the day, and have greater mental resources at our disposal to not only do good work, but to also live a good life.

    Among the topics How to Calm Your Mind covers are how analog and digital worlds affect calm and anxiety in different ways; how our desire for dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brain that leads us to feel overstimulated, breeds anxiety, dissatisfaction, and needless stress, but can be countered by other neurochemicals; how hidden sources of stress can be tamed by a “stimulation fast”; and how “busyness” is as much a state of mind as it is an actual state of life. The pursuit of calm ultimately leads us to become more engaged, focused, and deliberate—while making us more productive and satisfied with our lives overall. In an anxious world, achieving calm is the best life hack around.
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  5. A Dash of Salt and Pepper
    by Kosoko Jackson
    Berkley
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback / softback
    A Dash of Salt and Pepper
    by Kosoko Jackson
    Berkley
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback / softback
    One of Amazon's Best Romances of December
    A December LibraryReads Pick

    Sometimes two cooks in the kitchen are better than one in this swoony romantic comedy from the author of I’m So (Not) Over You.


    Xavier Reynolds is doing less than stellar. He just got dumped, was passed over for a prestigious fellowship, and to top it all off he's right back home in Harper's Cove, Maine (population: 9,000). The last thing he wants to do is to work as a prep chef in the kitchen of the hip new restaurant in town, The Wharf. Especially since the hot, single-father chef who owns it can’t delegate to save his life.

    Logan O’Hare doesn’t understand Xavier or why every word out of his mouth is dipped in sarcasm. Unfortunately, he has no choice but to hire him—he needs more help in the kitchen and his tween daughter, Anne, can only mince so many onions. It might be a recipe for disaster, but Logan doesn’t have many options besides Xavier.

    Stuck between a stove and a hot place, Logan and Xavier discover an unexpected connection. But when the heat between them threatens to top the Scoville scale, they’ll have to decide if they can make their relationship work or if life has seasoned them too differently.
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  6. Our Book of Awesome
    by Neil Pasricha 'Canada'
    Simon & Schuster
    Dec 06, 2022
    SELF-HELP / Motivational & Inspirational
    Hardback
    Our Book of Awesome
    by Neil Pasricha 'Canada'
    Simon & Schuster
    Dec 06, 2022
    SELF-HELP / Motivational & Inspirational
    Hardback
    Welcome to Our Book of Awesome, a celebration of the small joys that bring us together.

    In a world that is often overwhelming, it’s time to return to the simple things, the AWESOME things, all around us...if only we take a moment to see them:
    -Carrying the ice cube tray from the sink to the freezer without spilling
    -Finally unsubscribing from that annoying email you’ve been getting forever
    -Seeing your parents dance
    -Adding a gift note to yourself on your online order
    -Sending a private message during the video conference and then seeing your coworker look down and silently smirk
    -When your kids don’t hear you opening a bag of potato chips
    -When the hand sanitizer isn’t that extra slippery kind that never dries
    -Texting your husband to do something when he’s upstairs and you’re downstairs
    -When the cake plops flawlessly out of the pan

    These are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of things you’ll find in this new volume. You’ll also find comments, letters, and submissions from the AWESOME community around the world, leading to a final cacophony of awesome, by all of us, for all of us.

    Our Book of Awesome is an injection of joy, a heartfelt gift, and a smacking high five for humanity. Read it to be reminded of the endless AWESOME things that give laughter and happiness to our beautiful and brief lives.
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  7. The Book of Everlasting Things
    by Aanchal Malhotra
    Flatiron Books
    Dec 27, 2022
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardback
    The Book of Everlasting Things
    by Aanchal Malhotra
    Flatiron Books
    Dec 27, 2022
    FICTION / Historical / General
    Hardback

    FOR FANS OF ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, A LUSH, SWEEPING LOVE STORY ABOUT A HINDU PERFUMER AND A MUSLIM CALLIGRAPHER, SET AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF PARTITION

    “Monumental…A far-reaching love story.” —NPR (A Best Book of the Year)

    “Mesmerizing.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
    “Exquisite.” —Library Journal (starred review)
    “Majestic.” —Booklist (starred review)

    On a January morning in 1938, Samir Vij first locks eyes with Firdaus Khan through the rows of perfume bottles in his family’s ittar shop in Lahore. Over the years that follow, the perfumer’s apprentice and calligrapher’s apprentice fall in love with their ancient crafts and with each other, dreaming of the life they will one day share. But as the struggle for Indian independence gathers force, their beloved city is ravaged by Partition. Suddenly, they find themselves on opposite sides: Samir, a Hindu, becomes Indian and Firdaus, a Muslim, becomes Pakistani, their love now forbidden. Severed from one another, Samir and Firdaus make a series of fateful decisions that will change the course of their lives forever. As their paths spiral away from each other, they must each decide how much of the past they are willing to let go, and what it will cost them.

    Lush, sensuous, and deeply romantic, The Book of Everlasting Things is the story of two lovers and two nations, split apart by forces beyond their control, yet bound by love and memory. Filled with exquisite descriptions of perfume and calligraphy, spanning continents and generations, Aanchal Malhotra’s debut novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

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  8. The Light Pirate
    by Lily Brooks-Dalton
    Grand Central Publishing
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardback
    The Light Pirate
    by Lily Brooks-Dalton
    Grand Central Publishing
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardback
    “A luminous and wrenching portrait of a frighteningly possible future," The Light Pirate is a hopeful, sweeping story of survival and resilience spanning one extraordinary woman’s lifetime as she navigates the uncertainty, brutality, and arresting beauty of a rapidly changing world (Booklist, starred review).

    Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

    As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

    Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.
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  9. The Key to My Heart
    by Lia Louis
    Atria/Emily Bestler Books
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback / softback
    The Key to My Heart
    by Lia Louis
    Atria/Emily Bestler Books
    Dec 06, 2022
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback / softback
    A heartwarming novel about hope after loss as a young widow receives mysterious messages of love from the “must-buy author” (Jodi Picoult) of Eight Perfect Hours.

    Sparkly and charming Natalie Fincher has it all—a handsome new husband, a fixer-upper cottage of her dreams, and the opportunity to tour with the musical she’s spent years writing. But when her husband suddenly dies, all her hopes and dreams instantly disappear.

    Two and a half years later, Natalie is still lost. She works, sleeps (well, as much as the sexually frustrated village foxes will allow), and sees friends just often enough to allay their worries, but her life is empty. And she can only bring herself to play music at a London train station’s public piano where she can be anonymous. She’s lost motivation, faith in love, in happiness…in everything.

    But when someone begins to mysteriously leave the sheet music for her husband’s favorite songs at the station’s piano, Natalie begins to feel a sense of hope and excitement for the first time. As she investigates just who could be doing this, Natalie finds herself on an unexpected journey toward newfound love for herself, for life, and maybe, for a special someone.
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  10. The Will
    by Rebecca Reid
    Transworld
    Dec 27, 2022
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Paperback / softback
    The Will
    by Rebecca Reid
    Transworld
    Dec 27, 2022
    FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
    Paperback / softback
    'If you're a fan of the TV series Succession, you'll love this gripping story.' Closer

    The Mordaunts aren't like most families . . .


    For one, their family home is Roxborough Hall - a magnificent, centuries-old mansion in the Norfolk countryside. For another, the house isn't passed down from parent to child - but rather to the family member deemed most worthy.

    Cecily Mordaunt is dead. On the evening of her funeral, her family will gather for dinner and each will be given a letter, revealing who is the next custodian of Roxborough Hall.

    The house is a burden, a millstone, a full-time job . . . but they all want it. And some are willing do anything to get it.

    One family. Eight letters. Who will get what they deserve?

    _________________________________

    Everyone is talking about The Will!

    'I loved this twisty, stylish study of contemporary posh types.' Daily Mail

    'There are plenty of twists in this entertaining thriller and the tension builds brilliantly.' Good Housekeeping

    'Rebecca Reid's addictive novel is brimming with scandal, black humour and palpable suspense.' Woman's Own

    'If you were on the edge of your seat with crime novels from Adele Parks and Lisa Jewell, you'll need to add this book to your collection.' Chat Magazine

    'An addictive novel full of suspense.' Bella Magazine

    'The Will is that rare kind of book that draws you so deeply into its world, that you start believing the characters are your real life acquaintances, and wondering what they're up to. Perhaps that's why I raced through to find out. Rebecca's protagonists are complex, deliciously flawed, and utterly addictive.' Jemma Wayne
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