New Reads for the Rest of Us for December 2018

Welcome to New Reads for the Rest of Us for December 2018!

With these monthly lists, I aim to amplify the books written by those who are historically underrepresented including, but not limited to: womxn, women of color, women from the Global South, women who are Black, Indigenous, dis/abled, queer, fat, immigrants, Muslim, sex-positive, and more. My lists meant to be intersectional, feminist, and trans-inclusive. I also want to highlight books by gender non-conforming people (who may or may not be described by the term “womxn”).

If you’d like to learn more about which books I focus on, see my Review Policy. These are just guidelines and I reserve the right to include (or not!) any books I see fit. I usually add to this list as I learn of others; if you have a suggestion, please share it in the comments below!

So here are the New Reads for the Rest of Us for December 2018. There are so many great titles here, which will you read??

Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics by Nazia Kazi (@NaziaKaziTweets)

December 1 (Kindle)

Tags: Islam, women writers

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 168 pages

Nazia Kazi’s Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics is a devastating critique of the prevailing ways that Americans talk about Muslims, especially liberals who apparently mean well. Kazi makes her case elegantly and persuasively; her frustration is palpable and engaging. Anyone who thinks they have something worthwhile to say about Islamophobia in the United States should read this book first.–Arun Kundnani, New York University

Revolutionary Masculinity and Racial Inequality: Gendering War and Politics in Cuba by Bonnie A. Lucero

December 1

Tags: Masculinity, Cuba, politics, gender, war

University of New Mexico Press, 360 pages

“One of the most paradoxical aspects of Cuban history is the coexistence of national myths of racial harmony with lived experiences of racial inequality. Here a historian addresses this issue by examining the ways soldiers and politicians coded their discussions of race in ideas of masculinity during Cuba’s transition from colony to republic.”–Description

Tides of Revolution: Information, Insurgencies, and the Crisis of Colonial Rule in Venezuela by Cristina Soriano

December 1

Tags: Venezuela, women writers, colonialism, nonfiction

University of New Mexico Press, 336 pages

“This is a book about the links between politics and literacy, and about how radical ideas spread in a world without printing presses. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Spanish colonial governments tried to keep revolution out of their provinces.”–Description

Decolonizing Academia: Poverty, Oppression and Pain by Clelia O. Rodríguez

December 3

Tags: Education, women writers, colonialism

Fernwood Books Ltd, 150 pages

“Poetic, confrontational and radical, Decolonizing Academia speaks to those who have been taught to doubt themselves because of the politics of censorship, violence and silence that sustain the Ivory Tower. Clelia O. Rodríguez illustrates how academia is a racialized structure that erases the voices of people of colour, particularly women.”–Description

International Surrogacy as Disruptive Industry in Southeast Asia by Andrea Whittaker

December 3

Tags: SE Asia, health, reproductive freedom, women writers

Rutgers Univ Press, 244 pages

“An original, comprehensive, and eye-opening account of the unprecedented growth of commercial surrogacy in Southeast Asia. By focusing on the industry’s multiple stakeholders—particularly Thai surrogates who have gestated babies for Australian intended parents—Whittaker writes with ethnographic sensitivity and compassion, while at the same time critiquing the “disruptive industry” within which surrogacy takes place.  A must-read for those interested in globalization, biotechnology, and reproductive justice.”–Marcia Inhorn author of Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai
December 4
Tags: Short stories, women writers, family, historical fiction
Counterpoint, 448 pages
“A young German Jewish refugee in England in the 1940s, a resident of India for two dozen years, and a New Yorker from the mid-1970s until her death in 2013, Jhabvala triangulated her three adopted cultures in the 17 enthralling stories gathered in this sterling retrospective collection.  . . . Jhabvala was a spellbinding short story writer of fluid empathy, exceptional cross-cultural insight, and abiding respect for unconventional love . . . This is a richly captivating, revelatory, and important collection.”–Booklist (starred review)

 

Feminist Accountability: Disrupting Violence and Transforming Power by Ann Russo

December 4

Tags: Feminism, women writers

NYU Press, 280 pages

“As a feminist organizer, I’ve been waiting for this collection of essays for years. How do we address and transform violence in non-punitive ways? Ann Russo offers a compelling analysis of how a praxis of accountability can guide us toward some answers to this question. As a scholar-activist, Russo’s insights are drawn from both theory and practice. She has tried on and tried out the ideas she espouses in community with others. The essays are beautifully written and accessible to all. Feminist Accountability is a must read for anyone interested in community accountability practices, anti-violence organizing and transformative justice.”–Mariame Kaba, Founder of Project NIA

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me by Tracey Richardson (@trich7117)

December 4

Tags: Lesbian, romance

Bella Books, 250 pages

“Ellie Kirkland is at loose ends―and not for the first time. Resistant to following the path her parents insist on, she’s been trying out careers like she’s trying on outfits at Banana Republic. Now that her dream of being a journalist is over, Ellie must begin again. And the woman who crushed that very dream is the very woman who just might hold the key to Ellie’s future.”–Description

Revolution Sunday by Wendy Guerra and Achy Obejas (Translator)

December 4

Tags: Cuba, women writers, thriller, Latinx

Melville House, 208 pages

“Arresting, an explosive portrait of loneliness and isolation. Thick with the atmosphere of… Havana on the cusp of the Cuban thaw, the novel reads like the world’s most poetic anxiety dream, vibrant and stifling. Demanding and unforgettable.”–Kirkus (starred)

Where There’s a Will by Virginia Hale

December 4

Tags: Lesbian, romance

Bella Books, 276 pages

“As their friendship blossoms, Beth’s unspoken desire to sell remains the single wedge keeping them apart. Will asking for what she needs cost Beth a chance at a life with Dylan? Perhaps the richest inheritance of all may be a second chance.”–Description

Graceful Woman Warrior: A Story of Mindfully Living In The Face Of Dying by Terri Luanna da Silva with Laurie O’Neil and Marisa Alegria da Silva

December 5

Tags: Health, death, women writers, memoir

“Diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at 37, artist Terri Luanna da Silva’s example of living and dying with grace and integrity is an inspiration-not only for the dying, but for anyone aspiring to live with greater mindfulness and authenticity.”–Lauren Mackler, best-selling author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life

Postfeminist War: Women in the Media-Military-Industrial Complex by Mary Douglas Vavrus

December 10

Tags: Military, feminism, women writers

Rutgers Univ Press, 256 pages

“That women are increasingly on the front lines of war since 9/11 may not surprise readers of this book, but the many ways that women are symbolically enlisted in the promotion and perpetuation of endless global conflict certainly will. This well-written and timely book is essential for students and scholars alike to understand the PR strategies employed to curry favor for war, even as the public sours on American militarism. Unveiling the constructions and contradictions of a kinder, gentler post-feminist war mythology offers all of us a pathway to become ethical witnesses to war narratives, in the hope of ending war and its inhumane consequences.”–Robin Andersen author of A Century of Media: A Century of War

Fire on the Water: Sailors, Slaves, and Insurrection in Early American Literature, 1789-1886 by Lenora Warren (@Lenora_DW)

December 14

Tags: History, literary criticism, women writers

Bucknell University Press, 170 pages

“The book’s topic is superb: the role of black sailors, particularly enslaved or emancipated black sailors, has been woefully understudied. In locating both revolutionary potential and abolitionist inspiration in the insurrectionary activity of black sailors, Warren provides a fresh, exciting new unit of analysis for scholars and students of American literary history. I cannot stress enough how vital and necessary the topic is, and how overlooked it has been.”–Hester Blum, Pennsylvania State University and President of the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists)

Liberating Hollywood: Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema by Maya Montañez Smukler

December 14

Tags: Feminism, film, US history

Rutgers Univ Press, 275 pages

“A counterintuitive feminist history of the new Hollywood that convincingly challenges widely held assumptions about the boys’ club movie brat auteur renaissance. In Liberating Hollywood, Maya Montanez Smukler is remarkably attentive to the industrial as well as sociopolitical histories that made such a new women’s cinema and such a suddenly liberated Hollywood possible.”–Jon Lewis, author of Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles

Modern Spanish Women as Agents of Change: Essays in Honor of Maryellen Bieder edited by Jennifer Smith

December 14

Tags: Spain, history

Bucknell University Press, 248 pages

“This book is a beautiful tribute to Maryellen Bieder, an important and significant scholar of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish narrative by women. The essays in this book—by scholars and writers of several different generations who are also highly esteemed in the same and other areas—expand and continue Bieder’s research to new horizons.”–Sandra J. Schumm author of Mother and Myth in Spanish Novels

African Immigrant Families in the United States: Transnational Lives and Schooling by Serah Shani

December 15

Tags: Africa, Ghana, immigration, women writers, education

Lexington Books, 186 pages

“This beautifully written book elucidates the educational trajectories of immigrant children as they confront rigid American systems of race and class, and it documents how parents rely on the ‘network village,’ a transnational network of fellow Ghanaians in New York and Ghana, to provide academic and other types of support and resources for their children. This superb ethnography will appeal to readers interested in immigration and education, anthropology of education, and African diaspora cultural studies.–Lesley Bartlett, University of Wisconsin

Afro-Asian Connections in Latin America and the Caribbean by Luisa Marcela Ossa, Debbie Lee-DiStefano

December 15

Tags: Latinx, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, essays

“The essays collected this book by Ossa and Lee-Distefano present a formidable addition to Latin American, African, and Asian studies—where the fields converge in vigorous and well-researched conversation with one another.”–Sheridan Wigginton, California Lutheran University

Brooklyn On My Mind: Black Visual Artists from the WPA to the Present by Myrah Brown Green 

December 15

Tags: Art, women writers, New York, US history

Schiffer, 272 pages

“This new resource assembles 129 Black artists and their magnificent works, highlighting their important contributions to art worldwide. Beginning with the Brooklyn-based artists active during the Works Progress Administration years and continuing with artists approaching their prime today, the collection spans 80 years of art. From highly publicized artists to rising talent, each is tied to Brooklyn in their own way.”–Description

Crime and Violence in the Caribbean: Lessons from Jamaica by Sherill V. Morris-Francis, Camille A. Gibson, Lorna E. Grant

December 15

Tags: Caribbean, violence, women writers, essays

Lexington Books, 256 pages

“This book provides an excellent historical overview of crime and violence in the Caribbean. The contributors identify and present many of the forces that contribute to this phenomenon.”–Zelma Henriques, John Jay College

Gender and Environment in Science Fiction by Bridgitte Barclay, Christy Tidwell

December 15

Tags: Science fiction, gender, environment

“This book delivers shrewd analyses of a wonderful and quirky range of SF texts. Barclay and Tidwell situate the project brilliantly, and the collection as a whole will illuminate familiar texts anew and add unfamiliar stories to your high-priority reading and screening queues.”–Andrew Hageman, Luther College

Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism by Msia Kibona Clark (@kibona), Loy Azalia (@LoyAzalia), Phiwokuhle Mnyandu (@DrMnyandu)

December 15

Tags: Essays, women writers, #OwnVoices, Africa, African American

Lexington Books, 316 pages

“The essays [in this book] represent a wide spectrum of experiences and viewpoints central to the bicultural Africans/Black experience. The contributors offer poignant and grounded perspectives on the diverse ways race, ethnicity, and culture are experienced, debated, and represented. All of the chapters contribute more broadly to writings on dual identities, and the various ways bicultural Africans/Blacks navigate their identities and their places in African and Diaspora communities.”–Description

The Question of Class in Contemporary Latin American Cinema by María Mercedes Vázquez Vázquez

December 15

Tags: Latinx, women writers, film, class

Lexington Books, 222 pages

“This book offers a theoretically rich survey of directors and films that found international notoriety as well as those that have been little known outside Latin America. It examines the history, institutions, contexts, and practices that have reshaped Latin American cinema under neoliberalism, and it does so in an impressive, intellectually rigorous manner.”–Cacilda M. Rêgo, Utah State University

Twentieth Century Forcible Child Transfers: Probing the Boundaries of the Genocide Convention by Ruth Amir

December 15

Tags: Women writers, family

Lexington Books, 308 pages

“A well-researched report about the horror of ‘legal’ child abduction by the state, which deems itself the savior that will elevate the children of what it deems inferior cultures to it’s notion of ‘civilized’ heights. Slay their children, or rob them of their cultural heritage by removal, the end result is genocide!”–Daniel N. Paul, Mi’kmaw Elder

Women of the 2016 Election: Voices, Views, and Values edited by Jennifer Schenk Sacco

December 15

Tags: Politics, women writers, essays

Lexington Books, 246 pages

“This fascinating collection of essays provides a rich overview of women’s multiple and diverse contributions to U.S. presidential campaigns. The book’s focus on individual women with prominent roles in the 2016 election reflects an innovative approach that illustrates superbly the complicated and varied ways that gender is at play in contemporary electoral politics.”–Susan J. Carroll, co-author of A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters, Rutgers University

Women, Social Change, and Activism: Then and Now by Dawn Hutchinson, Lori Underwood

December 15

Tags: Activism, essays, women writers

Lexington Books, 110 pages

“Through the study of local and global activism, Women, Social Change and Activism: Then and Now engages scholars interested in the artistic, economic, educational, ethical, historical, literary, philosophical, political, psychological, religious, and social dimensions of women’s lives and resistance.”–Description

The Kingdom and the Republic: Sovereign Hawai’i and the Early United States by Noelani Arista (@Noeolali)

December 17

Tags: Hawaiʻi, politics, US history, women writers, Native American

University of Pennsylvania Press, 312 pages

The Kingdom and the Republic challenges some of our most basic assumptions about native Hawaiʻi, the encounters between natives and foreigners, and the processes of colonization, upending our expectations of who, in Hawaiʻi, had law and governance, and who was encountering whom.”–Rebecca McLennan, University of California, Berkeley

One-Dimensional Queer by Roderick A. Ferguson

December 17

Tags: Queer, nonfiction, people of color

Polity, 200 pages

One-Dimensional Queer is as clear an account as you could hope to encounter of how race and sexuality came to be understood as separate formations in US history. The resultant mainstreaming of LGBT cultures has been disastrous in terms of seeing our way out of the current crisis we inhabit. Offering solutions as well as critique, Ferguson’s book is destined to be a crucial part of any library of liberation.”–Jack Halberstam, Columbia University

29 Dates by Melissa de la Cruz (@MelissadelaCruz)

December 18

Tags: Romance, women writers, humor

Inkyard Press, 400 pages

“A refreshingly modern love story, 29 Dates serves up a funny and heartfelt rom-com about finding love and figuring out life on your own terms.”–Maurene Goo, author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love by Heather Demetrios (@HDemetrios)

December 18

Tags: YA, essays, relationships

Henry Holt and Co., 256 pages

“Eighteen young adult novelists . . . respond to letters from real teenagers in this timeless and breathtakingly honest collection.”–Booklist, starred review

“A masterful combination of painful honesty, gentle encouragement, and irreverent humor.”–Kirkus Reviews

The Disasters by MK England (@GeektasticLib)

December 18

Tags: Queer, YA, sci fi, debut, #OwnVoices

Harper Teen, 368 pages

“Much to recommend: nonstop cinematic action, strong feminist messages, and great diversity of characters.”–ALA Booklist

“An action-packed, entertaining blend of space hijinks, humor, and romance.”–Kirkus Reviews

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard (@wendydheard)

December 18

Tags: Debut, thriller, women writers

MIRA, 304 pages

“This dark, gritty thriller keeps the pages turning, making this a solid pick for readers who enjoy a trip through an unstable mind, such as in Caroline Kepnes’s You.”–Library Journal

Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal by Alexandra Natapoff (@ANatapoff)

December 31

Tags: Women writers, criminal justice

Basic Books, 352 pages

“This important book completely upends the criminal justice conversation. Natapoff documents dark truths about the misdemeanor process-how it forces the innocent to plead guilty, how it disregards basic legal rights, and how it inflicts deep injustice. Her insights inspire both outrage and innovation. Punishment Without Crime provides a terrific new understanding of a flawed criminal system, and it offers a much-needed path toward the fair and just criminal system America deserves. A necessary book for our times.”–Barry Scheck, cofounder of the Innocence Project

I’ll add more titles as I find them. What are you reading this month??

This post contains affiliate links.

%d bloggers like this: