Sandy’s Selections: Delightful December Reads

New Books

December is packed with all sorts of activities from shopping to parties, all the more reason you should take some time for yourself to relax and enjoy a good book. Fortunately, you have a great selection to choose from this month. From Michelle Obama’s memoirs to a new book from author of Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty, there is something for every reading taste, non-fiction to thrillers. So pick up one these delightful new books, put your feet up with a beverage of your choice and savor the escape from the hustle and bustle that only a good book can offer. Happy holidays and happy reading!

From Queen Elizabeth’s 23 healthy lifestyle choices, historical fiction about Agatha Christie, a memoir by Jacqueline Winspear, a legal thriller by Michael Connelly, new short fiction by Nicole Kraus, and the humor of David Sedaris in “The Best of Me,” there is something for every reading taste.   

Long Live the Queen by Bryan Kowlawski | Nonfiction

Long Live the Queen by Bryan Kowlawski

Long Live the Queen takes a fresh and fascinating look at how Queen Elizabeth II has stayed healthy and vital over her nearly 70 years on the throne. The author identifies 23 lifestyle choices that contribute to her longevity, and each chapter digs into why the “rules” work.

This book will be embraced by her majesty’s admirers, as well as by readers hoping to pick up some tips for living a long and rewarding life.

Readers Recommend:

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict | Historical Fiction

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict


Mrs. Agatha Christie was in the midst of a divorce when she disappeared for 11 days in 1926 and no one knows what really happened. The premise in The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is that she deliberately vanishes to ensnare her husband in a trap as payback for his infidelities. Agatha forces the husband to follow her instructions to the letter in order to escape prosecution.

Readers Recommend:

This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear | Memoir

This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear


This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing is the story of a childhood in the English countryside, of a working-class family with family secrets, artistic inspirations, and the price of memory. Winspear has written 16 mysteries, and for the first time, this book reveals the hardships and joys of her family history. The memoir captures her ties to the land and her dream of being a writer. The writing is lovely and elegant, rich in character, detail, and history.

Readers Recommend:

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly | NYT Best Seller | Crime Fiction

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly


The Law of Innocence is a twisty legal thriller with an attorney who must defend himself against murder charges. Somebody framed him, plotting to destroy his life. He must figure out who really committed the murder and why to be completely exonerated. Then he has to go before a judge and jury and prove his innocence. This author has the remarkable ability to write courtroom scenes, looking at the personal motives driving all the players (including the judge), making him a master storyteller.

Readers Recommend:

To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss | Short Fiction

To Be a Man by Nicole Kraus


The stories in To Be A Man feature male characters as fathers, lovers, friends, children, seducers, and husbands. This is a collection of ten globetrotting stories, each one a powerful dissection of the thorny connections between men and women. Each story struggles to understand what it is to be a man, what it is to be a woman, and the arising tensions that have existed from the beginning of time. Every story is carefully crafted and deeply contemplative, leaving the reader with questions that linger long after the final pages.

Readers Recommend:

The Best of Me by David Sedaris | NYT Bestseller | Humor

The Best of Me by David Sedaris


The Best Of Me offers a chance to view the development of David Sedaris into one of the great American humorists. It is a retrospective over the last 25 years, of 46 previously published essays in the New Yorker, beginning in 1995, and stories from nine earlier books. Several stories highlight how much his family means to him. Sedaris also expresses surprise and gratitude for his good fortune and his extraordinary accomplishments in his more serious moments.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you get a free Prime Read each month. Right now, our favorite is this Amazon Charts Bestseller: The Next Wife by Kaira Rouda. 

In Case You Missed It: Here’s Sandy’s list from December 2018! 

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

Autobiography | November 2018 #1 NYT Best Seller

Becoming by Michell ObamaBecoming is part of a $65 million joint book deal Michelle shares with Barak to write their post Presidential memoirs. Hearing Michelle tell her own story is even better than reading her words telling how she grew up to become a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. The five star audiobook is wonderful. Buy it Here.

Readers Recommend:
Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush
Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton
Barbara Bush: A Memoir



Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty

Fiction | 2018  NYT Best Seller

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane MoriartyNine strangers sign up for a “Special 10 Day Mind and Body Package” at a remote health resort, each with their own complicated life stories and what they expect the spa will do for them. This is another wickedly smart psychological thriller from Liane Moriarty that is pure fun and entertainment. Buy it Here.

Readers Recommend:
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware



Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, by Karina Longwatch

Non-Fiction | November 2018

Seduction- Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood by Karina LongwatchSeduction probes the inner workings of Hollywood’s glamorous Golden Age through the stories of dozens of actresses pursued by Howard Hughes. The millionaire’s obsession with sex, power, and publicity is revealed as Hughes abused young women who dreamt of screen stardom. Buy it Here.

Readers Recommend:
Howard Hughes : Untold Story by Peter Harry Brown
Howard Hughes: Life and Madness by Donald Barlett
Ava: A Life In Movies by Kendra Bean



Ladder to the Sky, By John Boyne

Fiction | November 2018

A Ladder to the Sky by John BoyneLadder to the Sky is a psychological thriller about a story-thief who collects, exploits and abandons his writing mentors. “I’ll do whatever it takes to succeed”…… including murder. Buy it Here.

Readers Recommend:
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
The History of Loneliness by John Boyne




Heads You Win, by Jeffrey Archer

Fiction | November 2018 NYT Best Seller

Heads You Win by Jeffrey ArcherAn 18 year old escaping from Russia leaves the choice of his travel destination to the toss of a coin –one side is Britain, and the other is for America- creating two “what if stories” about one man. This well executed storyline spans 30 years culminating with a very surprising ending. Buy it Here.

Readers Recommend:
Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer
Jack Reacher Past Tense by Lee Child
The Reckoning by John Grisham



Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas’s Masterpieceby Camille Laurens

Non-Fiction | November 2018

Add to Wishlist Little Dancer Aged Fourteen- The True Story Behind Degas's Masterpiece by Camille LaurensLittle Dancer is the story of Degas’s model for the 1880 Ballerina Sculpture, a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet, Marie van Goethem. Degas created a realistic picture of the miserable life of an “opera rat” with endless practice and nightly performances with little food or rest. Buy it Here.

Readers Recommend:
I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira
Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan



21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari

Non-Fiction | September 2018

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a collection of essays about the greatest challenges and important choices of our world today. Research on artificial intelligence and robots shows the technology is rapidly evolving and will be part of our daily lives sooner rather than later! Buy it Here.

Readers Recommend:
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Factfulness by Hans Rosling




If you are an Amazon Prime member, you get a free Prime Read each month. Right now, our favorite is the suspenseful thriller Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score.

Read Next:

Sandy’s Selections: New Books to Read in September

Sandy’s Book Selections For August

Books by Women Authors that All Women Should Read


We are giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card every month to one of our subscribers! To enter, simply add your email address below. If you already subscribe, you will automatically be entered. Winners will be chosen randomly.

Related Posts: