top of page

Pub Day Shout-Outs for December 7, 2021, featuring Dovalpage, Gorman, Harding, and Kim

by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)

Here are four books coming out today that I'm excited to read (along with some bonuses, so be sure to scroll all the way to the end!).

Book cover of Teresa Dovalpage's Death Under the Perseids

Teresa Dovalpage's Death Under the Perseids ( |

Description from Publisher:

"There's no such thing as a free cruise in Cuban American author Teresa Dovalpage's addictively clever new Havana mystery.

"Cuban-born Mercedes Spivey and her American husband, Nolan, win a five-day cruise to Cuba. Although the circumstances surrounding the prize seem a little suspicious to Mercedes, Nolan's current unemployment and their need to spice up their marriage make the decision a no-brainer. Once aboard, Mercedes is surprised to see two people she met through her ex-boyfriend Lorenzo: former University of Havana professor Selfa Segarra and down-on-his-luck Spanish writer Javier Jurado. Even stranger: they also received a free cruise.

"When Selfa disappears on their first day at sea, Mercedes and Javier begin to wonder if their presence on the cruise is more than coincidence. Mercedes confides her worries to her husband, but he convinces her that it's all in her head.

"However, when Javier dies under mysterious circumstances after disembarking in Havana, and Nolan is nowhere to be found, Mercedes scrambles through the city looking for him, fearing her suspicions were correct all along."

Why I want to read it:

I've been in the mood for mysteries lately, and I think this one sounds fabulous! I've also been drawn to books with a strong sense of place, and the early praise for this book identifies that as a feature.


Book cover of Amanda Gorman's Call Us What We Carry

Amanda Gorman's Call Us What We Carry ( |

Description from Publisher:

"The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman

"Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, these poems shine a light on a moment of reckoning and reveal that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future."

Why I want to read it:

Well, I pre-ordered this on the day of the inauguration in January, so I've been looking forward to this one for a long time! I so admire Gorman's ideas, and her poetry is inspired. I can't wait to read it.


Book cover of Lisa Harding's Bright Burning Things

Lisa Harding's Bright Burning Things ( |

Description from Publisher:

"A rising international literary star makes her American debut with this visceral, tender, and brave portrait of addiction, recovery, and motherhood, as harrowing and intense as Shuggie Bain.

"Sonya used to perform on stage. She attended glamorous parties, dated handsome men, rode in fast cars. But somewhere along the way, the stage lights Sonya lived for dimmed to black. In their absence, came darkness--blackouts, empty cupboards, hazy nights she could not remember.

"Haunted by her failed career and lingering trauma from her childhood, Sonya fell deep into an alcoholic abyss. What kept her from losing herself completely was Tommy, her son. But her love for Tommy rivaled her love for the bottle. Addiction amplified her fear of losing her child; every maternal misstep compelled her to drink. Tommy's precious life was in her shaky hands.

"Eventually Sonya was forced to make a choice. Give up drinking or lose Tommy--forever.

Bright Burning Things is an emotional tour-de-force--a devastating and nuanced look at an addict's journey towards rehabilitation and redemption. "

Why I want to read it:

I think this sounds amazing, and the comparison to Shuggie Bain—an easy five-star read for me—convinced me that this is a book I need to read. Lisa Taddeo (whose book Three Women is brilliant) compared it to Room, which cemented this one on my TBR list.


Book cover of Juhea Kim's Beasts of a Little Land

Juhea Kim's Beasts of a Little Land ( |

Description from Publisher:

"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

"In 1917, deep in the snowy mountains of occupied Korea, an impoverished local hunter on the brink of starvation saves a young Japanese officer from an attacking tiger. In an instant, their fates are connected--and from this encounter unfolds a saga that spans half a century.

"In the aftermath, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver's courtesan school, an act of desperation that will cement her place in the lowest social status. When she befriends an orphan boy named JungHo, who scrapes together a living begging on the streets of Seoul, they form a deep friendship. As they come of age, JungHo is swept up in the revolutionary fight for independence, and Jade becomes a sought-after performer with a new romantic prospect of noble birth. Soon Jade must decide whether she will risk everything for the one who would do the same for her.

"From the perfumed chambers of a courtesan school in Pyongyang to the glamorous cafes of a modernizing Seoul and the boreal forests of Manchuria, where battles rage, Juhea Kim's unforgettable characters forge their own destinies as they wager their nation's. Immersive and elegant, Beasts of a Little Land unveils a world where friends become enemies, enemies become saviors, heroes are persecuted, and beasts take many shapes."

Why I want to read it:

My favorite historical fiction covers new ground, and this is an era in a place about which I don't know much. The early reviews also look fabulous!


I also wanted to mention that Shea Ernshaw's A History of Wild Places ( |—you can read my review here—and Cale Dietrich, Sophie Gonzales's If This Gets Out ( | (my review will appear on IG this evening) are coming out today.


(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

Loving what you see here? Please comment below (scroll ALL the way down to comment), share this post using the social media buttons below (scroll down for those as well!), and find us on social media to share your thoughts!


Want to support Unabridged?

Check out our Merch Store!

Become a patron on Patreon.​

Follow us @unabridgedpod on Instagram.

Like and follow our Facebook Page.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Follow us @unabridgedpod on Twitter.

Subscribe to our podcast and rate us on Apple Podcasts or on Stitcher.

Check us out on Podbean.


Please note that we a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also are proud to partner with and have a curated Unabridged store as well as affiliate links. Finally, we're also honored to be a partner with and proudly use affiliate links to support them and independent bookstores.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page