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13 New Books You Should Add to Your November 2019 TBR!

by  | November 5

As voracious readers who have new books to look forward to each and every month, we always have reasons to be thankful. Still, there’s no doubt that November has a way of making us feel especially lucky. Who could blame us, with exciting new page-turners from the likes of Lisa Jewell and Erin Morgenstern, a clever pop-culture homage to David Bowe, an engaging tribute to Harriet Tubman, and brilliant new editions of The Joy of Cooking and Flowers in the Attic hitting shelves soon? Here are our picks for the best new fiction and nonfiction reads out in November.

The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs

by Lisa Jewell

Saimah’s Pick #1

Shortly after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones receives a letter that reveals the identity of her birth parents and indicates she is the sole heir to an abandoned mansion in London. When she visits the home, she discovers that her parents’ death was a bit of a mystery and that the teenage children who lived with them (her birth brother and sister) disappeared at the same time. In The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell once again weaves a story of a family with dark secrets. If you loved Then She Was Gone (or really any other Lisa Jewell book), you’ll enjoy this new twisted story filled with characters who will leave you guessing until the very end.  

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The Starless Sea

The Starless Sea

by Erin Morgenstern

Saimah’s Pick #2

I can’t wait to get ahold of this book to dive into the magical world that Erin Morgenstern has created. If you’re a fan of books about being bookish, you’ll want to add this one to your TBR. The Starless Sea follows Zachary Rawlins, a grad student who finds a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. The book has many tales, but when Zachary finds a story that sounds eerily familiar to his own childhood memories, he is bewildered by how his own life was recorded. He starts digging and finds clues that lead him to an ancient library hidden far below the earth’s surface.... And what’s more: he discovers there’s a whole secret world of lost cities and seas! As Zachary travels around this ancient realm, he meets the guardians who are protecting these lost worlds and discovers his purpose in the mysterious book!

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Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

by Irma S. Rombauer

Molly’s Pick #1

The sight of (several copies of) the Joy of Cooking cookbook in my mom’s kitchen is as familiar to me as the smell of her banana bread. The book has been a staple in American kitchens since it was first published in 1931 and, for the first time since 2006, it’s getting an upgrade. The new edition was revised by the original author’s great-grandson and his wife, and together they have spent the better part of a decade revising thousands of existing recipes and adding more than 600 new ones to appeal to 21st-century home cooks. It publishes on November 12—just in time for Friendsgiving! I’ll be making the apple dumplings for the holiday.

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The Witches Are Coming

The Witches Are Coming

by Lindy West

Molly’s Pick #2

There’s this great Carrie Fisher quote I kept thinking of while reading The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West: “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.” It’s a sentiment I think many women identify with: without humor, how can we possibly survive the injustices we’re dealt? This is the magic of Lindy West: because she succinctly and comically breaks down the most urgent and maddening issues in America today, I felt fury and rage while also laughing out loud in public. With her signature voice and unparalleled wit, West is able to examine and articulate things I’ve thought or felt but have lacked her articulateness to voice. And she also introduces new perspectives that force you to think outside your own bubble. The Witches Are Coming is an important, brilliant, and funny essay collection—one that connects pop culture to politics and offers a new feminist manifesto at the same time: “So fine, if you insist. This is a witch hunt. We’re witches, and we’re hunting you.”

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She Came to Slay

She Came to Slay

by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Holly’s Pick #1

Behind every strong, powerful, and influential woman in American history is a complex web of obstacles—and accomplishments she tirelessly achieved. She Came to Slay offers a new perspective on the life of the astounding Harriet Tubman. This tribute illustrates the incredible role Harriet Tubman played in the Civil War era by freeing slaves and serving as a spy for the Union Army, and also how her legacy still inspires activists in the fight for civil rights today. With a twang of pop culture thrown into the mix, Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s story reiterates just how fearless and powerful this heroine truly was.

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Bowie's Bookshelf

Bowie's Bookshelf

by John O'Connell

Holly’s Pick #2

Whether you have a deep appreciation for the impact of literature or are simply a music fanatic (or both), this new memoir is a must-read. Through a compilation of short stories, John O’Connell unveils the 100 books that changed David Bowie’s life. From transformative identity shifts to lyrical development, these books each played a major role in influencing one of the most iconic artists of a generation. Dig a little deeper into what made Bowie the wildly interesting and talented human he was with Bowie’s Bookshelf.

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Mobituaries (Audio)

Mobituaries (Audio)

by Mo Rocca

Kristin’s Pick

Do you appreciate a good obituary? Mo Rocca loves obits so much he created a podcast about them, cleverly called Mobituaries (get it?), and now he's written a book by the same name—and it's brilliant. It’s a collection of essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, and more folks who lived notable lives but did not get the send-off they deserved, until now. It's also full of fascinating fatality facts you didn't know you needed to know. Like how Founding Fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same exact day in 1826—which doesn't seem all that remarkable until you learn that day was July 4 and the 50th anniversary of their signing of the Declaration of Independence. Or how Einstein's brain went missing for 23 years (really). Outside of zombies, dead people have never been so entertaining.

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Flowers in the Attic (40th Anniversary Edition)

Flowers in the Attic (40th Anniversary Edition)

by V.C. Andrews

Sammi’s Pick #1

If you crave plot twists and love affairs, psychological mind games and diabolical debauchery, Flowers in the Attic is the book for you. V.C. Andrews’s cult-classic gothic tale is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is a fall must-read, er, reread! Now’s the perfect time to go back to the beginning of the Dollanganger series, where four young siblings (Cathy, Chris, Carrie, and Cory) are hidden away in the attic of their grandmother’s creepy mansion for years while their mother, Corinne, attempts to reconnect with her estranged father and secure an inheritance....

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Queenie

Queenie

by Candice Carty-Williams

Sammi’s Pick #2

I loved Queenie—which is both heartbreaking and hysterical—because I found a piece of myself in every part of the book, which follows a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman, Queenie Jenkins, as she picks herself up after a painful breakup from her boyfriend that leaves her reeling. Candice Carty-Williams writes with honesty as she unpacks dealing with anxiety and depression, something many new adults face in the 21st century.

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The Deep

The Deep

by Rivers Solomon

Linda’s Pick

Full disclosure: the first part of this book made me cry. I had to put it down, take a few minutes, before I could continue. The Deep is a philosophical look at the structures of memory, history, resistance, and sacrifice within the African American communities. Told through an entirely beautiful speculative lens, the story follows Yetu, the historian of the wajinru, an evolved mermaid race descended from the children of enslaved women, as she struggles with her duties and her family.

The narrative takes something incredibly brutal and turns it into a symbol of power and resistance. Through Yetu we learn how the wajinru came to exist, how they live, and who they venerate. The problem is that being a historian means that you are physically responsible for the entire history of your people, a painful and difficult task. Yetu runs away, attempting to live her life apart from the horrific rebellions and demands of her people, but she causes more damage than she realizes when a tornado rises, fueled by the rage of the wajinru. This book is short and sad and sweet all at once. It adds an incredible new layer to the mythos created by various hip-hop artists over the past decade. The Deep asks: Who is responsible for our history? Who is responsible for us?

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Winterwood

Winterwood

by Shea Ernshaw

Sara’s Pick

There's just something about the woods in autumn that makes you want to run around in them in the dead of night and bury all your darkest secrets there. Or is it just me? Well, you could always read Shea Ernshaw’s Winterwood and get that slightly unsettling but ultimately thrilling feeling of some dark, fantastical mystery out in the woods. Nora Walker, like all Walker women, can intuit a lot about the woods around her home town of Fir Haven in the Pacific Northwest, including how things shift strangely when Oliver Huntsman is found alive but missing his memory after a terrible snowstorm. Ernshaw's atmospheric prose will draw you into this lush but dangerous world as Nora tries to figure out if she can trust Oliver’s story—or if sometimes, it's better not to know what happened.

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The Bromance Book Club

The Bromance Book Club

by Lyssa Kay Adams

Heather’s Pick #1

The concept for this rom-com hooked me right away. I mean, hot-shot baseball player tries to win back his wife by joining a secret romance novel book club? Sign me up! In The Bromance Book Club, Lyssa Kay Adams’s debut novel, we’re set to meet Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott, whose marriage hits the rocks when he learns his wife, Thea, has been faking orgasms with him throughout their relationship. Desperate to prove his love by focusing on her pleasure, for once, Gavin joins a secret romance book club, whose membership includes several other prominent gentlemen (translation: heroes of future novels in this series!). Can his new friends and a sexy historical romance novel titled Courting the Countess help Gavin reconnect with Thea? Yes, of course, and I can’t wait to read it for myself.

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The Queen of Nothing

The Queen of Nothing

by Holly Black

Heather’s Pick #2

You should know that I will read anything and everything by Holly Black: her dark, modern faerie tales are 100% my jam. So it’s really saying something that I am EVEN MORE eager than I usually am to get my hands on The Queen of Nothing, to the point where I added the pub date (November 19!) as an event in my calendar. Why? Well, it’s the final book in the Folk of the Air trilogy, and it promises the resolution to a truly diabolical cliff-hanger. If you’re as invested in Jude and Cardan’s twisted story as I am, then you know this pain of waiting well. If you’re new to the ’verse, start with The Cruel Prince, about the mortal Jude, who’s raised in the High Court of Faerie and wants nothing more than to prove she’s as worthy of a role in the Court as anyone else—even her longtime tormentor, the wicked Prince Cardan, youngest son of the High King. Once you’re caught up, you’ll fully understand why I’ve been counting down the days to this story’s sure-to-be-epic conclusion.

 

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