A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution, Children of Virtue and Vengeance , The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison

The Mary Sue Book Club: December Edition—A Book Lover’s Holidays

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Because the holidays are coming, I was looking at the books that’ll be coming out this December and wanted to make sure I picked a range of things that I thought readers with different tastes would like. Not only did I include the sequel to Toni Adeyemi’s hit novel Children of Blood and Bone, but interesting historical books, a collection of letters from one of America’s most compelling authors, and, of course, some dope comics. I hope you find something you like among these picks.

Happy Holidays!

Land of Tears: The Exploration and Exploitation of Equatorial Africa by Robert Harms

(image: Basic Books)

Land of Tears: The Exploration and Exploitation of Equatorial Africa by Robert Harms

“In just three decades at the end of the nineteenth century, the heart of Africa was utterly transformed. Virtually closed to outsiders for centuries, by the early 1900s the rainforest of the Congo River basin was one of the most brutally exploited places on earth. In Land of Tears, historian Robert Harms reconstructs the chaotic process by which this happened. Beginning in the 1870s, traders, explorers, and empire builders from Arabia, Europe, and America moved rapidly into the region, where they pioneered a deadly trade in ivory and rubber for Western markets and in enslaved labor for the Indian Ocean rim. Imperial conquest followed close behind.

Ranging from remote African villages to European diplomatic meetings to Connecticut piano-key factories, Land of Tears reveals how equatorial Africa became fully, fatefully, and tragically enmeshed within our global world.”

A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution by Jeremy Popkin

(image: Basic Books)

A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution by Jeremy Popkin

“The principles of the French Revolution remain the only possible basis for a just society — even if, after more than two hundred years, they are more contested than ever before. In A New World Begins, Jeremy D. Popkin offers a riveting account of the revolution that puts the reader in the thick of the debates and the violence that led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a new society. We meet Mirabeau, Robespierre, and Danton, in all of their brilliance and vengefulness; we witness the failed escape and execution of Louis XVI; we see women demanding equal rights and black slaves wresting freedom from revolutionaries who hesitated to act on their own principles; and we follow the rise of Napoleon out of the ashes of the Reign of Terror.

Based on decades of scholarship, A New World Begins will stand as the definitive treatment of the French Revolution.”

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha) by Tomi Adeyemi

(image: Henry Holt and Co.)

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha) by Tomi Adeyemi

“After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.”

Y: The Last Man Omnibus by Brian K. Vaughn

(image: Vertigo)

Y: The Last Man Omnibus by Brian K. Vaughn

“In 2002, the world changes forever. Every man, every boy, every mammal with a Y chromosome everywhere on Earth suddenly collapses and dies. With the loss of nearly half the planet’s population, the gears of society grind to a halt, and a world of women are left to pick up the pieces and try to keep civilization from collapsing entirely.

The “gendercide,” however, is not absolutely complete. For some unknown reason, one young man named Yorick Brown and his pet male monkey, Ampersand, are spared. Overnight, this anonymous twentysomething becomes the most important person on the planet–the key, it is hoped, to unlocking the secret of the mysterious sex-specific plague.

For Yorick himself, the most important person on the planet is 10,000 miles away–and he will stop at nothing to find her. In setting off across the post-male landscape, however, man and monkey are about to learn just how valuable they are–both as a prize and as a target.

Collected for the first time in a single, comprehensive omnibus, writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra’s Eisner Award-winning Vertigo series Y: The Last Man brings to vivid life the age-old speculation: What would really happen to the last man on Earth? Collects Y: The Last Man #1-60 and a sketchbook featuring behind-the-scenes art by Pia Guerra.”

Silver Surfer: Black Treasury Edition

(image: Marvel)

Silver Surfer: Black Treasury Edition by Donny Cates; Tradd Moore (Illustrator)

“Spinning out of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, almost the entire galaxy’s defenders have been blown through a black hole, including the Silver Surfer! But the story doesn’t end there…In order to fight back the oblivion, Surfer will have to fight to save his own soul and not lose himself to the void. Follow the Sentinel of the Spaceways on a journey that will change him forever!

COLLECTING: Silver Surfer: Black 1-5”

Loki: Agent of Asgard - The Complete Collection

(image: Marvel)

Loki: Agent of Asgard – The Complete Collection by Lee Garbett (Illustrator), Jorge Coelho (Illustrator), Al Ewing (Contributor)

“Kid Loki is all grown up – and the God of Mischief is stronger, smarter and sneakier than ever before! As Asgardia’s one-man secret service, Loki is ready to lie, cheat and steal his way through the most treacherous missions the All-Mother can throw at him…starting with a heart-stopping heist at Avengers Tower! Loki takes on Lorelei in Monte Carlo’s casinos, heads to the ancient past on a quest for a magical sword and puts together a crew to crack the deepest dungeons of Asgardia itself! Plus, the events of AXIS pit him against the brutish Thor, God of Evil! But who is King Loki? What vile scheme has he been brewing all this time? And what does this shadowy king’s very existence mean for our Loki?”

Blitzed (Playbook, The) by Alexa Martin

(image: Berkley)

Blitzed (Playbook, The) by Alexa Martin

“Brynn Larson owes a lot to reality television and professional athletes. Her bar hit new heights of success after becoming a local haunt for the Denver Mustangs players and their WAGs. But although she’s grateful, that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. And that’s exactly what she would be to ever consider dating a professional athlete. Even if it’s Maxwell Lewis, whose shy smile makes her wonder what going on behind those beautiful brown eyes.

Maxwell knew from the moment he met Brynn that she was going to change his life. It was only a matter of time. But when he finally makes a move, fate conspires against him and everything goes wrong. Now he has to show her that their potential is real. Too bad for him, Brynn isn’t fooled by his glamorous NFL life, and when ghosts from both their pasts make a sudden reappearance, she must decide who she can trust. But when the person she’s most afraid of is herself, navigating life’s tackles is harder than anticipated.’

 The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison edited by Marc C. Conner and John F. Callahan

(image: Random House)

The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison edited by Marc C. Conner and John F. Callahan

“A radiant collection of letters from the renowned author of Invisible Man that trace the life and mind of a giant of American literature, with insights into the riddle of identity, the writer’s craft, and the story of a changing nation over six decades

These extensive and revealing letters span the life of Ralph Ellison and provide a remarkable window into the great writer’s life and work, his friendships, rivalries, anxieties, and all the questions about identity, art, and the American soul that bedeviled and inspired him until his death. They include early notes to his mother, written as an impoverished college student; lively exchanges with the most distinguished American writers and thinkers of his time, from Romare Bearden to Saul Bellow; and letters to friends and family from his hometown of Oklahoma City, whose influence would always be paramount.

These letters are beautifully rendered first-person accounts of Ellison’s life and work and his observations of a changing world, showing his metamorphosis from a wide-eyed student into a towering public intellectual who confronted and articulated America’s complexities”

The Wilds

(image: Black Mask Comics)

The Wilds by Vita Ayala, Danny Lore (Editor), Emily Pearson (Artist)

“After a cataclysmic plague sweeps across America, survivors come together to form citystate-like communities for safety. Daisy Walker is a Runner for The Compound, a mix of post-apocalyptic postal service and black market salvaging operation. It is a Runner’s job to ferry items and people between settlements, and on occasion scavenge through the ruins of the old world. Daisy is the best there is at what she does. Out beyond the settlement walls are innumerable dangers: feral animals, crumbling structures, and Abominations – those that were touched by the plague and became something other. After a decade of surviving, Daisy isn’t phased by any of it – until her lover, another Runner named Heather, goes missing on a job. Desperate to find her, Daisy begins to see that there may be little difference between the world inside the walls and the horrors beyond. From writer Vita Ayala (Bitch Planet: Triple Feature, Wonder Woman Annual) and Emily Pearson (Cult Classic) with a cover by Natasha Alterici (Heathen), comes this bold tale of surviving in bleak times. Collects issues 1-5.”

She Said Destroy Vol. 1 TPB

(image: Vault Comics)

She Said Destroy Vol. 1 TPB by Joe Corallo, Adrian F. Wassel (Editor), Liana Kangas (Artist)

“Over millennia, Brigid, Goddess of the Sun, has conquered and converted the entire solar system into worshipping her and her alone, save one space colony. The witches of Fey are the last believers of The Morrigan, Goddess of Death, Brigid’s sister and the only other God left. As Brigid’s forces prepare for one final battle, The Morrigan prepares to do what she does best: Destroy!

From author Joe Corallo and artist Liana Kangas comes a book described as Wicked + Divine meets Star Wars by way of Final Fantasy.”

What’s on your reading list this month?

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.