The leaves are finally turning and we’re entering peak put-on-a-chunky-knit-and-curl-up-with-a-good-book season. Whether you’re interested in a gripping thriller about a New Year’s Eve party gone wrong or a delectable collection of essays about the power of food to not just nourish but to reveal greater truths about history and culture, you’re in luck. Below, find eight of November’s most exciting new releases.
8 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in November
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1. Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm
This gothic novel, described as The Virgin Suicides meets The Grand Budapest Hotel, centers on a group of nine young women sent to work at a remote Alpine hotel…and what happens when one of them goes missing. From the time the women arrive, they work hard to prepare the hotel for guests. The thing is, though, no guests arrive. Still, they’re forced to uphold the expectations of their strict, matronly bosses without clear purpose, finding solace together in the rare moments when they’re not working. When the hotel is filled with people for a wild party, one of the girls disappears, and what follows is an investigation into the myths we teach young women and what we raise them to expect.
2. My First Popsicle: An Anthology of Food and Feelings Edited by Zosia Mamet
Edited by actress Zosia Mamet (Girls), this essay collection considers food not just as sustenance, but as a portal to culture, to times past, to comfort, to love. Writers, actors and other public figures like Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter), Tony Hale (Veep), Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror) and Patti Lupone write about their obsession with desserts at chain restaurants, nostalgia for Jell-O Cake, the foods that got them through the early months of the pandemic and more.
3. The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh
In this latest thriller by Mackintosh (I See You), it’s New Year’s Eve and Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests at his lakeside vacation home. But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters, and by New Year's Day, there’s a village full of suspects. With a lie uncovered at every turn, the question becomes less about who wanted Rhys dead and more about who finally killed him.
4. A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings by Will Betke-Brunswick
When writer and cartoonist Will Betke-Brunswick (they/them) was a sophomore in college, their beloved mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Their last ten months together are documented in words and illustrations in this graphic memoir. Through chemo and hospital visits, their time together is buoyed by laughter; in between therapy and bedside chats, they navigate uniquely human challenges, as Betke-Brunswick comes out as genderqueer and negotiates familial tension. A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings is about loving others and loving oneself, coming-of-age, dealing with illness and death and celebrating a mother-child relationship filled with unconditional devotion, humor, care and openness
5. Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke
How did butts become both sexualized and mythologized? Why do certain body types fall in and out of fashion? Who even makes those decisions? In this cheeky (sorry) nonfiction debut, Radiolab reporter Heather Radke examines society’s obsession with derrieres and how larger ideas about race, control, liberation, and power affect our most private feelings about ourselves and others.
6. The Break by Katie Sise
A new mother is pushed to the edge in this provocative thriller by the author of 2020’s Open House. After the traumatic birth of her daughter, Rowan returns home with her perfect newborn, her husband, Gabe and June, a part-time babysitter. Still, she can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right, and her instability leads her to accuse June of unspeakable things. When June disappears just days later, Rowan becomes a suspect. To uncover what happened and protect her new baby, Rowan must try to face the dark things she's so desperate to keep buried.
7. A Short History of Queer Women by Kirsty Loehr
No, they weren’t “just friends.” From Anne Bonny and Mary Read, who sailed the seas together disguised as pirates, to Megan Rapinoe declaring, ‘You can’t win a championship without gays on your team,’ this debut by writer and English teacher Loehrsets the record (ahem) straight on women who have loved other women through the ages.
8. How to Be Weird: An Off-Kilter Guide to Living a One-Of-A-Kind Life by Eric G. Wilson
Between work and family responsibilities, it’s easy to get caught up in the often monotonous nature of our day-to-day. Weirdness, Wilson (Against Happiness) argues, is an easily accessible antidote to these feelings of languishing, reminding us that there's more to life than the everyday. In How to Be Weird, he offers 99 exercises for embracing all the weird in the world around us—taking aimless walks, creating a reverie nook, exploring the underside of bridges, making tombstone rubbings…you get the idea.