12 New December 2020 Book Releases To Make This Year Better

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December 2020 Book Releases To Read with book covers for Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane, The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph, The Mermaid From Jeju by Sumi Hahn, The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little, This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens, Bookishness by Jessica Pressman and Layla by Colleen HooverPin
Are you wondering what December 2020 book releases are worth a read? See which new December books we loved, what we think you’ll enjoy, and what upcoming books you might want to skip.

I’m not going to lie, there are very few books releasing this December 2020 that I am excited for. Winter 2021 is where it’s at right now.

However, I read three December 2020 book releases that I enjoyed, including a nonfiction book about racism, an entrepreneurial enemies-to-lovers romance, and a murder mystery thriller — all of which are worth a read.

I’ll also share the most-anticipated December new books in historical fiction, thrillers, and romance set around the globe. Let’s get started!

P.S. How can you grab some of the best books of December 2020 for free or discounted?

  • Audible Plus: From Amazon, listen to Amazon Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks. They add new titles every week.
  • Book of the Month: Get the month’s hottest new and upcoming titles from Book of the Month. You might snag an early release or debut author. Along with selecting a book a month, find terrific add-ons, both trendy and lesser-known titles.
  • Amazon Prime Video – Stream thousands of ad-free movies and TV series on demand with Prime Video.
  • Express VPN – Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allows you to view movies worldwide – and they help keep your information safe. Our writers couldn’t have such diverse film reviews without using a VPN.
Diverse December 2020 Book Releases Pinterest Pin with book covers for Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane, The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph, The Mermaid From Jeju by Sumi Hahn, The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little, This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens, Bookishness by Jessica Pressman, The Cousins by Laren M McManus, and Layla by Colleen HooverPin
Is your TBR pile already slammed? Save these December 2020 book releases for later on Pinterest and come back to them when you are ready.

December 2020 Book Releases We’ve Read

*Books marked with an asterisk are upcoming December 2020 book releases and ARCs that we requested in exchange for a fair and honest review or were freely gifted/offered by the author or publisher. Please know that dates of publication are subject to change.

December 2020 book releases in romance, This Time Next Year By Sophie Cousens turquoise book cover with pink man and womanPin

This Time Next Year By Sophie Cousens

Rom-Com | Book Set In England
December 1, 2020*

If you enjoy the enemies-to-lovers trope — just in time for the holidays — don’t miss This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens. Perfect for New Years and a November Book Of The Month selection, Minnie Cooper and Quinn Hamilton’s romance is both endearing and genuine.

Minnie believes she has been cursed since birth when her mom and Quinn’s mom give birth to them minutes apart. Quinn’s mother steals her would-be name, and their lives spiral in two very different directions — financially and family-wise. When Minnie and Quinn meet at an NYE party, a spark ignites between them, but neither is sure they can overcome their own baggage to make it work.

Overall, This Time Next Year is a warm and fuzzy rom-com perfect for the season. I have mixed feelings about the abundance of coincidences that make the story feel obnoxiously contrived and Christmas-presenty wrapped. I did appreciate the relevance and heart of Minnie’s entrepreneurship. I adore Minnie’s community. Amazon | Goodreads

Don’t miss the Most Talked-About Books Releasing In 2021.

Nonfiction December 2020 book releases, The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph book cover with young Black man with beard and mustachePin

The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph

Nonfiction Book About Racism & How To Be An Antiracist
December 1, 2020*

If you are looking for a “truth bomb” nonfiction book for our January 2021 reading challenge, The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph is one of the December 2020 book releases you don’t want to miss.

Joseph and prominent members of the Black community — including Angie Thomas — discuss racism and how to be a better white person. What makes The Black Friend such a strong Antiracism 101 book is how Joseph uses his own personal stories to discuss everyday microaggressions to say, yup, that was racist as hell, and here’s how to fix it.

If you’ve read Kendi’s How To Be An Antiracist, this part memoir, part guide exemplifies racist policies and white supremacy in a less academic manner — that might also be more relatable and easily digested by teenage readers. I’ve seen The Black Friend advertised as YA; however, it truly is for both adults and teens looking to put in the antiracist work. Amazon | Goodreads

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Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

Book Set In Ithaca, New York | Murder Mystery | Thriller
December 29, 2020*

OK; maybe don’t read Pretty Little Wife right before bed… For December 2020 book releases, this one is a fast-paced, creepy AF thriller that didn’t give me the most pleasant dreams at night. If you love true crime podcasts, eerie feminist revenge, and dysfunctional families, I think you’ll fly through Pretty Little Wife.

Set in Ithaca, New York, it’s pretty clear that cold and quiet Lila Ridgefield offed her scumbag husband — but the police cannot prove it. Both Lila and Aaron grew up surrounded by trauma and tragedy. Unfortunately for Lila, her scheme doesn’t go quite as planned, and her supposedly dead husband is missing. Where the hell is he? Is he alive? Is he coming for her?

While you are waiting for Aaron to pop up in the shadows, the story grows darker. Something more sinister is in the backdrop as police have also been searching for missing college students. I’m still shivering. Lila is the perfect but troubled vigilante hero — and with the goal to emphasize survivors versus predatory men, you’ll find more in this thriller than you expected. Amazon | Goodreads

Worried you missed reading the most talked-about books in 2020? Check out the Best Books Of 2020 here.

Historical Fiction December 2020 Book Releases

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Germania by Harald Gilbers

World War 2 Historical Fiction Set In Berlin
December 1, 2020

It’s 1944 in Berlin, Germany, and a Nazi serial killer is on the loose. The Gestapo forces Jewish detective Richard Oppenheimer to take up the case. Not only must Oppenheimer catch the killer, but he is also trying to survive. Amazon | Goodreads

Don’t miss our Most-Anticipated 2021 Book Releases In WW2 Historical Fiction.

The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn book cover with woman's head poking out of water and looking at purple mountainsPin

The Mermaid From Jeju by Sumi Hahn

Post WW2 Historical Fiction & Coming Of Age | Book Set In Korea
December 8, 2020

One of the new December books that TUL is most anticipating includes Hahn’s post-WW2 novel, The Mermaid From Jeju. While Junja takes a family trip to the mountains, she falls in love. On her return, she watches as her mother drowns beneath the sea — on a dive meant for the skilled Junja. Navigating loss and grief along with the effects of WW2, can love and resilience save Junja? Amazon | Goodreads

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The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little

Historical Fiction | WW1 Historical Fiction Set In Paris
December 29, 2020

If you are looking for women’s historical fiction releasing this December, The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little sounds both engrossing and inspiring.

Antoinette and Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel fantasize about a different and bright future than what is expected of them. Although their upbringing is designed to make them the perfect wives, they set out with eyes on Paris’s glamour and fashion. When WW1 strikes, though, they must learn to survive and build a future, breaking out of poverty and possibly away from each other. Amazon | Goodreads

More Diverse Historical Fiction & Fantasy Releasing This December

A Curse Of Roses by Diana Pinguicha – December 1, 2020 – LGBTQ+ YA historical fantasy & romance based on a Portuguese legend, Princess Yzabel is on a mission to flip her magic to turn flowers into food before her people starve. She falls for her enchantress, which is treason against her country.

Thrilling December 2020 Book Releases

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The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

YA Thriller & Suspense
December 1, 2020

For thrilling YA December 2020 book releases, a rich grandmother invites three cousins out for the summer to help at her resort. The cousins have never met their grandmother, and their parents are dictating that they go. When they arrive on the island, the cousins realize that their family is full of secrets. I haven’t read The Cousins yet, but I’m hoping it’s like Pretty Little Liars. Amazon | Goodreads

Thrilling December 2020 book releases Layla by Colleen Hoover book cover with window reflection of person Pin

Layla by Colleen Hoover

Paranormal Thriller
December 8, 2020

Everyone has been raving about Hoover’s newest December book release, Layla, and apparently, it’s not like her other novels — this one has a spooky and paranormal flair.

Leeds loves Layla. Unfortunately, when tragedy strikes, Layla has recovered physically but not mentally. Suffice to say, Layla is not quite the same, and her bizarre behavior has Leeds concerned. Drawn to another guest at the B&B, Leeds realizes that he can only help one of these women. Amazon | Goodreads

Looking to read more diversely in 2021? Join our 2021 Reading Challenge with diverse books to inspire travel.

More Thrillers Releasing This December

The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher – December 29, 2020 – Juno moves in with the Couch family thinking they have a perfect life. Oh, how wrong she is…

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Did you find a few new December 2020 book releases that you cannot wait to pick up? Save this post for later on Pinterest, and never be without a good book to read.

Nonfiction December 2020 Book Releases

Nonfiction December 2020 book releases, Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo yellow book cover with white ball on male's bodyPin

Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

Book About Racism & Sexism | Nonfiction
December 1, 2020

“What happens to a country that tells generation after generation of white men that they deserve power? What happens when success is defined by status over women and people of color, instead of by actual accomplishments?” Oluo examines white male supremacy in regard to people of color, women, and even white men themselves. Amazon | Goodreads

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Bookishness by Jessica Pressman

Nonfiction | Literary Criticism
December 4, 2020

For bookish nonfiction December 2020 book releases, TUL readers might enjoy Bookishness. I haven’t seen a ton of reviews for this one and most have been around the 3-4ish star mark. However, as a bookstagrammer and book blogger, I’m intrigued. Pressman researches the status of the book as a ‘fetish object’ in the digital age, drawing from literary criticism, media studies, history, and a growing ‘bookishness’ social identity. Amazon | Goodreads

Which of these December 2020 book releases are you most looking forward to?

What upcoming December 2020 book releases are you eyeing and excited for? Which new books will you skip? Are you checking out a few that TUL missed? Please let us know in the comments.

You May Also Enjoy:

January 2021 Upcoming New Book Releases
Upcoming February 2021 Book Releases
Best Books Releasing In November
October Book Releases You Might Have Missed
TUL’s Fall 2020 Reading Guide
2020’s Most-Anticipated New Books
What We Are Reading This Fall

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Christine Frascarelli

Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.

With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.


  1. There are some great sounding books coming out in December. I am so behind on keeping up with new releases, but I have been jotting a bunch of them down for the future. Once I work through my current TBR, I will slowly be reading these newer books. I really appreciate your monthly release posts because otherwise, I may completely miss out on these books.

    1. My current TBR pile is very intimidating right now! I’m a little behind in both older titles that I want to read and new releases. I still have some November new books that I need to finish, too. Whoops! It’s that time of year… Thank you so much for saying that, Sarah! I am so glad.

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