Get Amped For The Best Books Of November

A curious convergence of fiction and reality happened to me during the Kavanaugh-Ford Senate public hearings in early September. At the time, I was reading Those Who Knew, a novel by Idra Novey out November 6. In the book, a woman cradles damning knowledge about a rising star politician. Lena and the politician, Victor, had been involved decades earlier, and Lena still remembers his violent treatment of her acutely. Does Lena come forward, even if she knows she might be squashed in the process, or does she remain silent?
Looking back, I recognize how much Novey's book actually helped me through the emotional tumult of watching the hearings. That's part of the magic of books. As much as they can transport us away from our lives, they also help us make sense of them.
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These are the most spell-binding releases of November, with a genre for everyone.
1 of 19
Daughters of the Lake, Wendy Webb
October 1

Daughters of the Lake has everything you could want in a spell-binding read: unexpected family secrets, ghosts, tragic love stories, intertwined fates. After she discovers her husband cheating on her, Kate Granger moves back to her childhood home on Lake Superior. Not long after she moves, the bodies of a woman — the same woman Kate's been dreaming about — and her infant child wash up on the lake. As Kate sets forth on a mission to find the woman's identity, the book goes back in time to Great Bay in 1889, where two Michigan girls are just sparking their friendship. The stories connect in clever ways.
2 of 19
Northwood, Maryse Meijer
November 6

Instructions for reading Northwood: Clear our an hour or two. Make some tea. Shut the door, and prepare for an emotional and sensory experience. Meijer’s stunning novella blends fable with bracing realism, as well as prose with poetry, to create an intoxicating portrait of an intense love affair and its aftermath. Anyone who’s lost themselves in love of their art or in love for another person will relate to this narrator’s journey.
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3 of 19
Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
November 6

Calling all fans of Big Little Lies, both the TV and book versions: Don't miss Liane Moriarty's next thriller, equally dripping with opulence and lies. Nine strangers buy a ten-day spa package at Tranquility House with the intention of emerging sparklier and happier — and it seems to work well. Very well. But once the guests discover what's really at work at the resort, they won't be quite as pleased with their sudden changes of disposition.
4 of 19
How to Be Alone: If You Want To, And Even If You Don't, Lane Moore
November 6

In this bracingly honest memoir, comedian and writer Lane Moore unabashedly names the feeling that has defined her life: loneliness. According to Moore’s description of her childhood, she grew up like Matilda’s Matilda Wormwood — but without the saving grace of Miss Honey. Now an adult, Moore hasn’t shaken the insecurities that come with growing up lacking love. As the former sex and relationships editor at Cosmopolitan and the creator of the comedy show Tinder Live!, Moore is especially equipped to address the taboo of loneliness, along with other adult problems, with hilarity and aptness.
5 of 19
A Shot in the Dark, Lynne Truss
November 6

Is it a mystery? Is it a comedy? Either way, A Shot in the Dark is a delight. In this novel, acclaimed British writer Lynne Truss riffs off the themes and structures found in classic mysteries. After solving Brighton’s Middle Street Massacre in 1951, Inspector Steine has been basking in a calm Brighton. 1957 brings two unpleasant surprises: First, the arrival of the over eager Constable Twitten, and then a shocking murder during a play. Truss’s characters are bumbling and not self-aware — and are just as much fun as solving the mystery itself.
6 of 19
Those Who Knew, Idra Novey
November 6

Somewhere in an unnamed country, a woman harbors a secret that could drastically change the political landscape. The country’s young liberals are enamored with Victor, a senator and a rising political star. Lena knows better, because she has intimate knowledge of Victor’s real character. Idra Novey, who is also a poet, combines the best of lyrical language and propulsive plot in all her novels, Those Who Knew included. She balances sharp psychological insights with plot twists and, miraculously, humor. Those Who Knew is the book you need in a culture that routinely hears – and ignores — public figures' historical treatment of women. In addition to being timely, it’s simply superb.
7 of 19
The New Order, Karen E. Bender
November 6

Bender’s collection of short stories speaks to the here and now with an almost shocking degree of prescience. Case in point: The collection's first story is about two elderly Jewish women tasked with making sure their synagogue is protected in case a shooter arrives, eerily reflecting the recent tragedy in Pittsburgh. Bender's stories are unnerving — they track the slow warping of a mind pressured by threats of instability, danger, and falling without a net to catch them. Essentially, of us. Bender is an exquisite writer, and this book really will act as a brutally honest but empathetic guide to navigating the now.
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8 of 19
Ways to Hide in Winter, Sarah St. Vincent
November 6

Literature is populated by unusual paintings. You can find Ways to Hide in Winter’s Kathleen, a young widow living in a remote corner of Pennsylvania while struggling with an opioid addiction, and Daniil, a man claiming to be a visiting student from Uzbekistan, on that list. When Daniil confesses to committing a heinous crime back home, Kathleen is pulled into his world. What results is a tautly plotted thriller cradled by a well of emotion.
9 of 19
The Kinship of Secrets, Eugenia Kim
November 6

Imagine what sisters Inja and Miran’s lives would be like, had the Korean War never happened. They would’ve grown up alongside one another. Instead, the sisters’ parents had to choose one daughter to take with them to the USA. Miran, the sicklier sister, grew up in the United States with their parents, and Inja remained in South Korea with their extended family. They grow up in a state of constant yearning. The Kinship of Secrets is a historical companion for anyone who read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee or If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim, two other novels about Korean history.
10 of 19
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, Julie Dao
November 6

Fact: Chunky YA fantasy epics make for unparalleled literary escapes. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is a sequel to the fantastic A Feast of Thousand Lanterns, which tracks Xifeng’s journey from village girl to ruthless empress. The sequel catches Princess Jade, banished to the countryside after her step-mother took power, just at the moment she realizes that she is the only one who can restore balance to the kingdom. Dao’s book combines East Asian folklore with classic fantasy elements to thrilling end results.
11 of 19
Evening in Paradise: More Stories, Lucia Berlin
November 6

Lucia Berlin isn’t around to witness her meteoric rise to fame; she won’t get to read tributes in The New York Times and The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Berlin died in 2004 after three marriages, four sons, and 76 short stories published in small presses. In 2015, her posthumous story collection A Manual For Cleaning Women was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and flew off bookshelves; this year, more of her stories will be released in the collection Evening in Paradise. Read one of her powerful, authentic stories that peer right into the human condition, and you'll understand the hype.
12 of 19
The Latecomers, Helen Klein Ross
November 6

It’s the winter. You need a family saga. That’s just how it goes. This lovely novel interweaves stories from three generations of the Hollingworths family and those connected to the Hollingworths, like Bridey, a pregnant 16-year-old Irish immigrant who takes a post as a maid in the house in 1908. According to the author’s own review on Goodreads, she was inspired to write the book after renovating a house built in 1853 by the governor of Connecticut. Klein imagined the conversations that must’ve occurred in the lead-up to the Civil War. So began The Latecomers.
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13 of 19
Becoming, Michelle Obama
November 13

Michelle Obama’s memoir will certainly be one of the unmissable literary experiences of the year. Experience Obama’s journey from a girl in Chicago to the First Lady of the most progressive White House ever, in her own words. In an Instagram post announcing the memoir, Obama wrote, "Writing Becoming has been a deeply personal experience. It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life." We are excited to see the results.
14 of 19
Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood, Karina Longworth
November 13

As Karina Longworth’s acclaimed podcast You Must Remember This proves in each enthralling episode, old Hollywood is a fascinating – but not so foreign —landscape. Much of the dynamics between established, powerful men and young women revealed in the early days of the #MeToo uprising have been present all along. Seduction looks at the relationships with women that defined millionaire (and filmmaker, and pilot, and womanizer) Howard Hughes’ life. Seduction is jam-packed with Hollywood scandal and history.
15 of 19
Insurrecto, Gina Apostol
November 13

Gina Apostol's novel combines pop culture references, fake movie scripts, road trip tropes, and character studies all in the effort of reexamining the United States' influence on the Philippines — and it works, man. The novel is structured around Chiara Brasi, the daughter of an American director who travels to the Philippines to make her own film, and recruits Magsalin, a translator, for help. They both write a script for the film. Unsurprisingly, both are very different, and show the women's perspectives.
16 of 19
The Hazards of Time Travel, Joyce Carol Oates
November 16

With this novel, fiction master Joyce Carol Oates throws her hat into the feminist dystopia ring. Adriane lives in a near future America that is many of our worst nightmares — citizens are ranked by skin colors, oligarchs have all the power. After delivering a radical graduation speech, she's sent eight decades into the past with the government's time travel technology. Adriane has to adjust to central Wisconsin in 1959.
17 of 19
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
November 20

Oyinkan Braithwaite is rewriting the slasher novel, and man, does it look good. My Sister, The Serial Killer is a wholly original novel where satire and serial killers brush up against each other. Korede is used to cleaning up her beautiful younger sister, Ayoola's, messes — like Femi, Ayoola's boyfriend who winds up dead on the floor. Ayoola claims she killed Femi in "self defense," but he's just the most recent of Ayoola's boyfriends to die in mysterious circumstances. When Ayoola gets her eyes set on Tade, Korede's coworker at the hospital, Korede has to decide whether to intervene. Korede the only one who understands her sister, but the reverse is true, also.
18 of 19
Come With Me, Helen Schulman
November 27

Imagine your boss was a 19 year old still in his dorm room. Such is the life of Amy Reed, a middle-aged mom in Palo Alto who is gainfully employed by a Stanford student. Amy's work and personal lives intersect after her boss launches his revolutionary VR software called Furrier.com, which allows people to experience all the different realities their lives could have taken. What if Amy didn't have this husband, this son? All the members of the Reed family are pulled into a maze of "what ifs" — intoxicating and dangerous.
19 of 19
The Adults, Caroline Hulse
Out November 27

Want a book you can chomp down? The Adults, an acerbic comedy about adults attempting to be grown-ups, is it. How long is it possible to "play nice" with your ex? Claire and Matt, a divorced couple, don't know, but they're going to try for as long as possible. For the sake of their seven-year-old daughter, Claire and Matt decide to go on a family vacation — and bring their new partners along.
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