New Books

Last-Minute Gift Ideas (For You or Someone Else)

Two more weeks until 2019! This is the last New Books newsletter of 2018, so I wanted to share a few book ideas in case you’re a last-minute shopper, or you want to get more gifts. (Orrrrrrr if you need more books for yourself, because who doesn’t??!?) I think there’s a little something here for everyone, and I’ve included a little bit of the publisher’s synopsis with each.

Sponsored by Book Riot’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018 Giveaway

We’re giving away ten of our favorite works of nonfiction of the year! Click here to enter.

If you want to know about more 2018 releases, you can hear about several more of our favorite books of the year on this week’s episode of the All the Books! María Cristina and I talked about a few of the amazing books we loved, including Washington Black, The Feather Thief, and Severance.

These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore

“In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history.”

Everything's Trash But It's OkayEverything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson

“New York Times bestselling author and star of 2 Dope Queens Phoebe Robinson is back with a new, hilarious, and timely essay collection on gender, race, dating, and the dumpster fire that is our world.”


The Library BookThe Library Book by Susan Orlean

“Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.”

We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. HigginsWe Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

“It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious!”

an american marriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones

“This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.”

BibliophileBibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount

“A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations: Bibliophile is pure bookish joy and sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, aspiring writers, and any and all who identify as book lovers.”

buttermilk graffitiButtermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine by Edward Lee

“American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning.”

limitlessLimitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts by Leah Tinari

“In the spirit of She Persisted, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, and Rad American A-Z, acclaimed artist Leah Tinari offers a spectacular collection of portraits, celebrating iconic, inspirational, and groundbreaking American women.”

bad blood by john carreyrouBad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

“The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.”

Sweep- The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan AuxierSweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a new life—saving each other in the process. Lyrically told by one of today’s most powerful storytellers, Sweepis a heartrending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and wonder.”

the field of bloodThe Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War by Joanne B. Freeman

“In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War.”

a very large expanse of seaA Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

“From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a powerful, heartrending contemporary novel about fear, first love, and the devastating impact of prejudice.”


animal kingdomAnimal Kingdom: A Collection of Portraits by Randal Ford and Dan Winters

“These arresting studio portraits capture the beauty, power, and even humor of 150 furry and feathered species – a delight for any animal or bird lover.”


monumentMonument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey

“This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future.”


check pleaseCheck, Please!: Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

“A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophomore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.”

The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson cover imageThe Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson

“A rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.”

Salt Lane cover imageSalt Lane by William Shaw

“Juggling the case, her aging mother, her teenage daughter, and the loneliness of country life, Detective Cupidi must discover who the woman really was, who killed her, and how she managed to reconnect with her long lost son, apparently from beyond the grave.”


rosewater by tade thompsonRosewater (The Wormwood Trilogy) by Tade Thompson

“Tade Thompson’s Rosewater is the start of an award-winning, cutting edge trilogy set in Nigeria, by one of science fiction’s most engaging new voices.”



queen in 3dQueen in 3-D Updated Edition (3-D Stereoscopic Book) by Brian May

“”There’s no ghost writer for this book. It’s just me.” – Brian May. With these words, the author announces the first book ever to be published about the legendary rock band Queen by a member of the band. And certainly the first book of its kind in the world.”

modern herstoryModern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History by Blair Imani, Monique Le (Illustrator)

“An inspiring and radical celebration of 70 women, girls, and gender nonbinary people who have changed–and are still changing–the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond.”

fire & bloodFire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin and Doug Wheatley

“With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.”

invisible by stephen l carterInvisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen L. Carter

“Moving, haunting, and as fast-paced as a novel, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson’s remarkable book, her long forgotten story is once again visible.”

i'll be there for youI’ll Be There for You: The One about Friends by Kelsey Miller

I’ll Be There for You is the definitive retrospective of Friends, not only for fans of the series, but for anyone who’s ever wondered what it is about this show—and television comedy—that resonates so powerfully.”


in piecesIn Pieces by Sally Field

“In this intimate, haunting literary memoir, an American icon tells her own story for the first time–about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother.”



Infidel by Pornsak Pichetshote

“A haunted house story for the 21st century, INFIDEL follows an American Muslim woman and her multi-racial neighbors who move into a building haunted by entities that feed off xenophobia.”



guinness world records 2019Guinness World Records 2019 by Guinness World Records

“The world’s most popular record book is back with thousands of new categories and newly broken records, covering everything from outer space to sporting greats via Instagram, fidget spinners and all manner of human marvels.”

boom townBoom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding… its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis by Sam Anderson

“Award-winning journalist Sam Anderson’s long-awaited debut is a brilliant, kaleidoscopic narrative of Oklahoma City–a great American story of civics, basketball, and destiny.”

how to invent everythingHow to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North

“With this book as your guide, you’ll survive–and thrive–in any period in Earth’s history. Bestselling author and time-travel enthusiast Ryan North shows you how to invent all the modern conveniences we take for granted–from first principles.”

shadeShade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza


“From Pete Souza, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Obama: An Intimate Portrait, comes a potent commentary on the Presidency–and our country.”


spider-man in the spiderverseSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse -The Art of the Movie by Ramin Zahed

“Discover the world of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in this stunning collection of art. Packed with concept art, final designs, and artist commentary plus previously unseen storyboards.”

the ravenmasterThe Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife

“Shining a light on the behavior of the birds, their pecking order and social structure, and the tricks they play on us, Skaife shows who the Tower’s true guardians really are―and the result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.”

Oregon Trail…And Then You Die of Dysentery: Lessons in Adulting from the Oregon Trail by Lauren Reeves and Jude Buffum

“A quirky, nostalgic send-up to the Oregon Trail computer game, featuring snarky and hard-earned life lessons from the trail.”

It has been another fantastic year of books. Thank you for being a part of it! I love being able to spread the word about great books and I couldn’t do it without you. I hope you have wonderful holidays! If you want to learn more about books new and old, or tell me about books you’re reading, or books you think I should read (I HEART RECOMMENDATIONS!), you can find me on Twitter at MissLiberty, on Instagram at FranzenComesAlive, or Litsy under ‘Liberty’!