The 8 Books You Need to Read in December
You’ll have *plenty* of reading time on your hands while home for the holidays.
We hope that, by this point, you’ve been following along with our monthly Coveteur book club, and while margarita-in-hand beach reading will always be our favorite situation, there is little that compares to curling up with a page-turner in front of the fire or in your bed on Sunday afternoon when you’ve vowed not to leave your apartment until Monday. December also means a lot of holiday travel time *and* downtime—i.e., the perfect opportunity to escape the family gathering when the talk turns political (with some fiction that transports you to Bombay, India); finally make a dent in that Vampire trilogy that’s been collecting dust on your nightstand; or dive head-first into Zadie Smith’s newest novel. Whatever you choose, make sure to tag #CoveteurBookClub and show us where you’re reading (we promise we won’t be overtly jealous if you also happen to be on the beach).
“I’m finding myself rushing through the book I’m currently reading just so I can devour this one. I love Zadie Smith, and I can’t wait to spend a solid weekend absorbed in this book.” —Laurel Pantin
“Over Thanksgiving I read that Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned was the top book the year I was born and now she is bringing the series to TV. So with two very long flights to and from Thailand this holiday season, I will be hunkering down to read at least the first three on the plane, if not more.” —Andee Olson
“I just went to India and am trying to prolong my travels there for as long as possible through whatever literature I can get my hands on. I’m currently in the midst of Mistry’s Family Matters, which I started on my plane ride home and can’t stop reading. If you’ve never read anything by the Canadian-Indian author, please, for your own good, get on it ASAP. This book is an excellent place to start: it’s the story of complicated family in Bombay with chaotic Indian society as both backdrop and reflection. I feel like I know these characters intimately, even when I’m back in New York.” —Emily Ramshaw
“This book was recently recommended to me by another writer—I obviously missed the memo back in 2013 when it was named The New Yorker’s book of the year. I’m sure it’s comedic take on the Brooklyn literary scene and the main character, Nate Piven’s journey from struggling writer to book deal, will be just the thing to take my mind off actual work during my weekly case of the Sunday scaries.” —Alicia Cesaro
“Admittedly, this reads somewhat like a textbook, but the best kind of textbook. This is a must for any lover of fashion, art, or any cultural phenomenon. I am consumed by the Factory and Studio 54 world and have since been feeling very inspired to explore my own artsy side. Currid demonstrates how the arts straddle the line between expression and commodity and how they define our own lives and our current cultural sense.” —Tatiana Bravo
“As idyllic as a winter on the East Coast sounds, I’m really dreaming of the perfect vagabond surfer life. William Finnegan, a long-time staff writer for The New Yorker, recounts his journey from an adolescent in Hawaii to a wave-obsessed journalist spending weeks on end in search of uncrowded, perfect surf. Traversing everywhere from Indonesia to a tiny island off the coast of Portugal, this book made me both admire and fear the all-consuming fervor lifelong surfers have for the water. Plus, it’s the ultimate hidden-gem vacation guide for my seasonal fatigue.” —Hannah Baxter
“When FIT (finally!) launched their Gender Studies minor, I knew I had to jump on the literary bandwagon before I graduated. Much to my dismay, I was living under a rock and knew little to none of the prolific women writers of our time. After reading excerpts in my Women in Writing class by contemporary feminist writer Rebecca Solnit, I hastily bought her most recent book, Men Explain Things to Me. I suggest you read the book before you get stuck conversing with a man at an impending Christmas party whose only interest is to talk over you or, like the title suggests, explain things to you that you already know. The worst.” —Bonnie Azoulay
“I’m not the biggest fan of heading to a large bookstore in search of a new read—I find it slightly overwhelming and never know what to choose. Hence me resorting to my friends and picking their brains on their latest reads. This is exactly how I came to start reading Just Kids. I’m only two chapters into the book, but am already in awe of how beautifully Patti Smith has written this memoir that depicts her relationship and love affair with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. I couldn’t think of a more fitting time to be reading this book than the season where all that you ever want to do is cuddle up with a cozy throw and a glass of wine.” —Jodi Taylor