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The Reading List: 10 Books For December

Need a gift for the bookworm in your life (or something for yourself, perhaps)? Our choices this months have tales from outer space, tales from the kitchen, and tales that a little blue bird Tweeted us.

1 / 10

This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me): Billionaires in the Wild by David Letterman and Bruce McCall

The late-night curmudgeon and New Yorker cartoonist team up for a satirical look at one-percent imperialism, inventing characters like the billionaire who transforms hollowed-out redwood trees into private highway tunnels.

2 / 10

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

The guitar-playing Canadian astronaut became a worldwide celebrity during his time on the International Space Station. In his new book, he discusses the life astronautic, including that infamous “Space Oddity” video.

3 / 10

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

For bandwagon jumpers looking to read work by the newly anointed Nobel Prize recipient, Hateship is one of her finest collections. Plus, the title story will soon be released as a movie starring Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce.

4 / 10

Happy City by Charles Montgomery

With his first book, The Last Heathen, Montgomery snagged the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction. Now he’s examining our relationships to cities, how they affect happiness levels and what can be changed.

Buy Montgomery’s new book here.

5 / 10

Bait: A Novel by J. Kent Messum

Messum worked in a meat freezer before Penguin pulled his manuscript out of the slush pile. His thriller is both cartoonishly absurd and harrowingly bleak: a group of drug addicts are stranded on an island and must swim through shark-infested waters to access their heroin fix.

6 / 10

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily and Melissa Elsen

If you’re sick of apple and pumpkin, this cookbook from the popular Brooklyn pie shop and café Four and Twenty Blackbirds offers creative alternative recipes, like birch beer float, chocolate julep and bourbon pear crumble.

7 / 10

Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola

The beautiful new hardcover edition of Zola’s most famous work offers a sharp contrast to the ugliness inside: an addictively lurid tale of vanity, murder and haunted sex.

8 / 10

Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton

 This year’s answer to The Social Network is a down-and-dirty history of how Twitter came to be-including the allegation that founder Jack Dorsey tried to cheat his co-workers of their share of the profits.

9 / 10

Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections and Other Obsessions by Guillermo del Toro with Marc Zicree

In addition to his family home, the Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director owns an 18-room house outside Los Angeles, used to store macabre objets (a 1759 treatise on eastern European vampires) and horror memorabilia (Bela Lugosi’s Dracula cape). His new book is a showcase for his treasures, accompanied by interviews, notebook excerpts and annotations.

10 / 10

René Redzepi: A Work in Progress by René Redzepi

Noma, Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant, is widely considered the best in the world. His new three-volume compendium includes 100 new Noma recipes, a candid journal and snapshots from inside the hot spot’s kitchen.