December's 11 Best New Novels Include LGBTQ Holiday Romances & Post-Apocalyptic Adventures

by Melissa Ragsdale

There's no better time than the end of the year to indulge in a good book. December 2017 is bringing with it some wonderful new fiction releases. After a year of remarkable fiction, it's only fitting that we're closing 2017 with some extraordinary books to match.

This month's reading is filled with books that deliver exquisite prose and surreal stories. If you love to just get lost in the writing of a piece, you're certainly in luck. And after all, as the cold comes in, is there anything better than hunkering under the covers and pouring over a beautiful book?

(But, of course, that's not to say that these books don't bring with them a page-turning plot. Basically, you should just cancel all your plans, because you're going to get sucked into some A+ storytelling.)

The holiday season is certainly hectic, so be sure to give yourself some time to get lost in a fantastic book. These books go great with Christmas cookies and hot cocoa, and they'll certainly give you a good escape from your crazy AF family. After all, winter is the perfect time to snuggle up under a blanket with a good read. Be sure not to miss these top-notch new releases coming out this month. Each one will bring a little sparkle and a lot of joy to your life this holiday season.

'If the Fates Allow' edited by Annie Harper (December 1; Interlude Press)

What would December be without a good holiday anthology? In this lovely book, five authors deliver LGBTQ+ holiday romance stories that will give you all the warm fuzzies. Sa-woon!

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'Elmet' by Fiona Mozley (December 5; Algonquin Press)

A finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize, Elmet, originally published in Britain, is finally coming stateside. Siblings Danny and Cathy have been taken away to a remote part of Yorkshire after a tragic event, and now they live in the shadow of their larger-than-life father. Wild, dark, and mesmerizing, this is a book to read if you fall hard for beautiful prose.

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'Ultraluminous' by Katherine Faw (December 5; MCD)

Meet K. She's a high-end, girlfriend-experience prostitute who has just returned to NYC after a decade abroad. In this raw and electrifying read, you'll whir through K's routine with her, circling around the question: who is K really?

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'Three Daughters of Eve' by Elif Shafak (December 5; Bloomsbury)

Set in modern-day Istanbul, this riveting book follows Peri — married, wealthy, and on her way to a party. As her night unfolds, bringing with it a series of terrorist attacks, she finds herself lost in memories of the friends she made while studying at Oxford University, and the scandal that tore them apart.

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'Enchantress of Numbers' by Jennifer Chiaverini (December 5; Dutton)

Ada Lovelace is one of my favorite women from history, so I was especially excited to dig in to this historical fiction. The daughter of Lord Byron, Lovelace was one of the founders of computer science, all the way back in the 19th century. Chiaverini brings her to life around you, as Ada goes from learning about mathematics from her mother, to being introduced to London high society, to striking up a friendship with Charles Babbage.

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'Record of a Night Too Brief' by Hiromi Kawakami (December 5; Pushkin Press)

Translated from the original Japanese, this dreamlike book tells three stories of young women as they experience "unsettling loss and romance." This book is surreal and fascinating, diving past the expectations of fiction on every page.

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'Year One' by Nora Roberts (December 5; St. Martin's Press)

That's right, legendary romance author Nora Roberts has turned her pen to apocalyptic fiction. And, oh boy, she really delivered. In this fast-paced and energetic read, an epidemic sets off a chain reaction, causing civilization to collapse. In this chaotic new world, a group of survivors are fighting to make it out of crumbling New York City and head west.

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'The Vanishing Princess' by Jenny Diski (December 5; Ecco)

Jenny Diski passed away from cancer last year, but in this short story collection (posthumously published in the U.S.) old and new fans alike can connect with her characteristic sharp, eccentric, and unabashed style, which carries over from her well-known essays into her fiction. From a fairytale turned on its head, to the story of a woman attempting to build the perfect bathtub, each one of these imaginative pieces will whisk you into a new dream.

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'Daughters of the Air' by Anca L. Szilágyi (December 5; Lanternfish Press)

After father disappeared during Argentina's Dirty War, Tatiana "Pluta" Spektor and her mother fled to NYC, where, in a dizzying new country, Pluta must learn how to spread her wings.

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'The Ice House' by Laura Lee Smith (December 5; Grove Press)

His family business in his turmoil, he has a deadly brain tumor, and Johnny McKinnon is just on the verge of losing it completely. In this vibrant and heartfelt novel, Johnny desperately attempts to repair his relationship with his long-estranged family before it's too late.

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'Stone Baby' by Michelle Sacks (December 15; Northwestern University Press)

In this excellent short story collection, Michelle Sacks delivers character after character that burst into life onto the page. Each of these people live in their own micro-universe, and they all edging past the expectations of society. What they have in common is that their stories will lead you to some unexpected secrets.

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