The 5 Must-Read Books This December


Hello, please buy these books

Here we are in December, probably unsure of what to do with ourselves as we work hard to stay offline for at least part of the day, lest we sink more fully into a black hole of despair. And so: Why not pick up a book? Books always help! Here are five books coming out this month that we endorse as being just the right things to read right now. And if you want to be completist about it, here are our lists of best monthly books for January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November. Enjoy!

Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace by Jennifer Chiaverini (available December 5)
Perhaps you'd like to take a break from a news cycle filled with the deeds of horrific men? Perhaps! So how about dive right into this novel about the brilliant Ada Lovelace, daughter of infamous Romantic poet Lord Byron and a mathematician mother, whose life is the stuff of legends. Raised by her mother in a strict style designed to deter any creative ventures, Lovelace would, in fact, grow up to work in the type of mathematical field her mother wanted (Lovelace is often called the world's first computer programmer). However, the passionate nature her mother sought to deny was only inflamed in Lovelace, and channeled into her personal life and her work. This book is a fascinating look at how science and art do not stand at opposite ends of a spectrum, but rather—at their best—work together, and bring us toward a new, undreamed-of future.

Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.



Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.