5 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in December 2019

Cozy up with five of December's best fiction releases.

December is sometimes a slow month for new releases, so our list this month is short but strong. Happy reading!

Such a Fun Age
by Kiley Reid
Emira Tucker is a 25-year-old Black woman who is torn between pursuing a more grown-up career and the part time babysitting job she loves. When Emira is the target of racial profiling at a high-end grocery store, her white employer Alix wants to come to her rescue, regardless of what Emira wants or needs. “In her debut novel, Reid illuminates difficult truths about race, society, and power with a fresh, light hand. We're all familiar with the phrases white privilege and race relations, but rarely has a book vivified these terms in such a lucid, absorbing, graceful, forceful, but unforced way.” (Library Journal)

Africaville
by Jeffrey Colvin
The 20th century story of the Sebolt family starts in Africaville, a small community in Nova Scotia based on a real town that was established in the 1800s by formerly enslaved people from the United States and Caribbean. Kath Ella Sebolt leaves for Montreal in the 1930s, and as successive generations drift farther from home they face issues of racism, identity, and passing. “Africaville’s rich history will always draw them back, forcing them to confront and celebrate their heritage. Colvin depicts the heartbreaking neglect and ultimate destruction of Africaville by white Canadian governments while also dramatizing the resilience that enabled its residents to survive.” (Booklist)

The Story of a Goat
by Perumal Murugan, translated by N. Kalyan Raman
Murugan’s acclaimed novel One Part Woman (2018) won both a nomination for the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature and widespread controversy in India for casting a critical eye on his home culture. His latest work is part satire, part fable—the story of Poonachi, a malnourished rare black goat given to an old farming couple who nurses it back to health. “Anthropomorphic Poonachi lets readers into many of her thoughts and experiences, including a vibrant view of life under a government regime that banned black goats (which supposedly can't be seen in the dark) and oversaw long periods of famine and food rationing. Murugan explores the lively inner life of an observant goat in this imaginative exploration of rural life under the caste system.” (Publishers Weekly)

This Is Happiness
by Niall Williams
In 1958 rural Ireland, 17-year-old Noe Crowe is living with his grandparents in a small coastal village when he finds a companion in lodger Christy McMahon. Christy has come to the village for two purposes: to help install the village’s very first electrical utility and to seek forgiveness from the woman he left at the altar fifty years earlier. “Delighting in the eccentricities of speech, behavior, and attitude of the local characters, Williams spins a tale of life lessons and loves new and old… Warm and whimsical, sometimes sorrowful, but always expressed in curlicues of Irish lyricism, this charming book makes varied use of its electrical metaphor, not least to express the flickering pulse of humanity.” (Kirkus Reviews) William’s novel History of the Rain was nominated for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

Blitzed
by Alexa Martin
Successful entrepreneur Brynn Sterling is the owner of HERS, a popular sports bar and home base for the wives and girlfriends of Denver Mustangs team members. Brynn’s not interested in the drama of dating a professional athlete, but shy guy Maxwell Lewis might force her to make an exception. “Martin continues her Playbook series, following Fumbled (2019) and scores again with this perfectly blended sporty-spicy/rom-com cocktail that’s so good, you could name a drink after it.” (Booklist) This book can be read as part of the series or on its own.

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