December 2021 Book of the Month Predictions

It is that time of the month where all of us Book of the Month subscribers start to anxiously anticipate the next month’s releases. I am here to speculate and possibly predict which books will be selected for Book of the Month main picks and add-ons. I limit my predictions to two books per genre, except for thrillers and contemporary & literary fiction where this often more than one selection.

December is always a slow month in publishing, so I am anticipating that a number of the selections will be January 2022 releases. I also expect for there to be a holiday romance, which are usually published in September or October.

Contemporary & Literary Fiction

Bright Burning Things

Lisa Harding

Being Tommy’s mother is too much for Sonya. Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy’s life is in her hands. Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts and bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O’Malley spying from across the road. There is the risk of losing Tommy.

Dava Shastri’s Last Day

Kirthana Ramisetti

In Kirthana Ramisetti’s debut novel, an elderly billionaire with terminal brain cancer plans to spread a rumor that she’s already dead. Dava wants to know how she’ll be remembered, but when her obituaries leak a secret she thought she’d buried for good, she’s left with a mess to clean up before she takes her final bows.

Debut

Wahala

Nikki May

An incisive and exhilarating debut novel of female friendship following three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the lethally glamorous fourth woman who infiltrates their group.

Debut

Historical Fiction

Thriller

Beasts of a Little Land

Juhea Kim

An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter.

Debut

A History of Wild Places

Shea Ernshaw

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Hello Transcriber

Hannah Morrissey

Every night, while the street lamps shed the only light on Wisconsin’s most crime-ridden city, police transcriber Hazel Greenlee listens as detectives divulge Black Harbor’s gruesome secrets. When her neighbor admits to hiding the body of an overdose victim — a death linked to Candy Man, a local drug dealer — Hazel is pulled into a taut investigation.

Debut

The Maid

Nita Prose

A charmingly eccentric hotel maid discovers a guest murdered in his bed. Solving the mystery will turn her once orderly world upside down. A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

Debut

Romance

The Holiday Swap

Maggie Knox

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over. With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. 

Debut

Always in December

Emily Stone

Every December, Josie posts a letter from her home in London to the parents she lost on Christmas night many years ago. Each year, she writes the same three words: Missing you, always. But this year, her annual trip to the postbox is knocked off course by a bicycle collision with a handsome stranger–a stranger who will change the course of Josie’s life.

Debut

Fantasy & Science Fiction

A Marvellous Life

Freya Marske

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known. Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Debut

The School for Good Mothers

Jessamine Chan

One lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance. The School for Good Mothers explores the perils of “perfect” upper-middle-class parenting, the violence enacted upon women by the state and each other, and the boundless love a mother has for her daughter.

Debut

Add-Ons

Tell Me How to Be

Neel Patel

By turns irreverent and tender, filled with the beats of ’90s R&B, Tell Me How to Be is about our earliest betrayals and the cost of reconciliation. But most of all, it is the love story of a mother and son each trying to figure out how to be in the world.

Debut

Love & Other Disasters

Anita Kelly

The first openly nonbinary contestant on America’s favorite cooking show falls for their clumsy competitor in this delicious romantic comedy debut.

The Replacement Wife

Darby Kane

Elisa Wright is a mom and wife, living a nice, quiet life in a nice, quiet town. She’s also convinced her brother-in-law is a murderer. Josh has one dead wife and one missing fiancée, and though he grieved for them he starts dating someone new. Elisa fears for that woman’s safety, and she desperately wants to know what happened to her friend, Josh’s missing fiancée.

Repeat Author

Reckless Girls

Rachel Hawkins

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history.

Repeat Author & Early Release

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