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Sweatpants & Books | New Releases, December 2018

By Shandle Blaha

Ten new books coming to bookshelves and libraries near you this December including Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare.

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices) by Cassandra Clare

December 4

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy. Queen of Air and Darkness is a Shadowhunters novel.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

Once Upon a River: A Novel by Diane Setterfield

December 4

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

Congo Stories: Battling Five Centuries of Exploitation and Greed by John Prendergast (Author), Fidel Bafilemba (Author), Sam Ilus (Illustrator), Soraya Aziz Souleymane (Foreword), Ryan Gosling (Photographer), Dave Eggers (Afterword)

December 4

From the author of the New York Times bestselling and award-winning Not on Our Watch, John Prendergast co-writes a compelling book with Fidel Bafilemba–with stunning photographs by Ryan Gosling–revealing the way in which the people and resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been used throughout the last five centuries to build, develop, advance, and safeguard the United States and Europe. The book highlights the devastating price Congo has paid for that support. However, the way the world deals with Congo is finally changing, and the book tells the remarkable stories of those in Congo and the United States leading that transformation.

The people of Congo are fighting back against a tidal wave of international exploitation and governmental oppression to make things better for their nation, their neighborhoods, and their families. They are risking their lives to resist and alter the deadly status quo. And now, finally, there are human rights movements led by young people in the United States and Europe building solidarity with Congolese change-makers in support of dignity, justice, and equality for the Congolese people. As a result, the way the world deal with Congo is finally changing.

Fidel Bafilemba, Ryan Gosling, and John Prendergast traveled to Congo to document some of the stories not only of the Congolese upstanders who are building a better future for their country but also of young Congolese people overcoming enormous odds just to go to school and help take care of their families.Through Gosling’s photographs of Congolese daily life, Bafilemba’s profiles of heroic Congolese activists, and Prendergast’s narratives of the extraordinary history and evolving social movements that directly link Congo with the United States and Europe, CONGO STORIES provides windows into the history, the people, the challenges, the possibilities, and the movements that could change the course of Congo’s destiny.

North of Dawn: A Novel by Nuruddin Farah

December 4

For decades, Gacalo and Mugdi have lived in Oslo, where they’ve led a peaceful, largely assimilated life and raised two children. Their beloved son, Dhaqaneh, however, is driven by feelings of alienation to jihadism in Somalia, where he kills himself in a suicide attack. The couple reluctantly offers a haven to his family. But on arrival in Oslo, their daughter-in-law cloaks herself even more deeply in religion, while her children hunger for the freedoms of
their new homeland, a rift that will have lifealtering consequences for the entire family.

Set against the backdrop of real events, North of Dawn is a provocative, devastating story of love, loyalty, and national identity that asks whether it is ever possible to escape a legacy of violence–and if so, at what cost.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

December 4

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.

This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

December 11

Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago.

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

December 11

On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

The Cursed Sea (Glass Spare Book 2) by Lauren DeStefano

December 18

The second in an exciting fantasy duology about a princess cursed to turn any living thing she touches into gemstone from Lauren DeStefano, the bestselling author of the Chemical Garden series. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Renée Ahdieh.

Wil, the exiled princess of northern Arrod, must do what she never thought possible: return home to discover the origins of her own curse.

But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unpredictable elder brother Baren is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And with time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family to find the truth.

Nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives as the Southern king is out to ensure neither of his children will survive to take the throne. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil and Loom must make peace with their pasts if they hope to secure the future of their world.

But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time for good?

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard

December 18

Sean Suh is done with killing. After serving three years in a psychiatric prison, he’s determined to stay away from temptation. But he can’t resist Annabelle—beautiful, confident, incandescent Annabelle—who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he’s desperately trying to be.

Then Annabelle disappears.

Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being taken firsthand—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the center of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened than he’s able to remember?

Though haunted by the fear that it might be better for Annabelle if he never finds her, Sean can’t bring himself to let go of her without a fight. To save her, he’ll have to do more than confront his own demons… He’ll have to let them loose.

A chilling, deeply suspenseful page-turner set in the 1980s, Hunting Annabelle is a stunning debut that will leave you breathless to the very end.

Watching You: A Novel by Lisa Jewell

December 26

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

In Lisa Jewell’s latest brilliant “bone-chilling suspense” (People) no one is who they seem—and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered—and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace” (Booklist, starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.

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About Shandle Blaha (238 Articles)
Shandle is the Chief Operations Officer for Sweatpants & Coffee. She's a traveler, bookworm, movie lover and TV junkie. She quotes Friends in her daily life and takes her coffee extra sweet, preferably in the form of a PSL.

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