The One New Book You Need to Read This Month Is Mindy Kaling Approved

published Dec 5, 2022
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headshot of mindy kaling
Credit: Photo: Getty Images; Design: Apartment Therapy

Psst… We won’t tell if you purchase one of December’s new book releases for yourself. Yes, the holiday season is a time for giving, but sometimes you just need to shake off the stress of the day (or year, or past three years) by getting lost in a world other than your own, if only for a moment.  

One book to take note of is The Vibrant Years” by Sonali Dev. Earlier this year, Mindy Kaling announced she partnered with Amazon Studios to launch a combo publishing house and film production dubbed Mindy’s Book Studio. According to Kaling, the studio will focus on “romantic comedies, suspenseful dramas, and coming-of-age stories by a diverse range of emerging and established voices,” selected by the actor, comedian, and writer herself. “The Vibrant Years” is the first title to be released from the imprint and is a sweeping intergenerational tale showcasing the importance and value of family, relationships, and finding oneself as the world does what the world does: change.

Sam Lipsyte’s latest novel transports you to the streets of 1993’s East Village in Manhattan. Here is a time of young artistry, drugs, and a low cost of living, which seems all fun and games until protagonist Jack learns that his roommate and the lead singer in their band lifted Jack’s bass. In his attempts to recover the stolen instrument, Jack is catapulted into a messy situation that involves murder and real estate schemes. A touch of noir, a dash of politics, and a sprinkle of 90s nostalgia, “No One Left to Come Looking” is a rollicking pleasure of a read, perfect for those who wish to reminisce on the New York City of yesterday or want to get a satirical taste of the period. 

In a not so far future, ocean levels are rising, and Florida and its infrastructure are collapsing. Growing up in the sunshine state as it succumbs to the effects of climate change is Wanda, named after Hurricane Wanda. As catastrophe ensues and leaves devastation in its path, Brooks-Dalton spins a beautiful tale of survival, changing landscapes, love, and loss. With it getting dark so early now, “The Light Pirate” is ideal for getting cozy on cold winter nights: run a bath or snag your softest blanket, grab a box of tissues, and fall into this all-too-real story of determination. 

From “New York Times” parenting column writer Jessica Grose comes a historical, cultural, and social exploration of the expectations placed on American mothers. Drawing from her parenting experiences and paired with interviews from experts and nearly 100 contemporary mothers, “Screaming on the Inside” weaves Grose’s personal journey with scientific, sociological, and historical reporting to pull apart our ideas of American motherhood and explore how we can make parenting more humane for parents and their children. With chapters about pregnancy, identity, work, social media, and even the COVID-19 pandemic, this rumination on motherhood is perfect for those at any stage of parenthood.