Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
AP

11 books to add to your reading list this month

  • 0
"Our Country Friends," by Gary Shteyngart.

"Our Country Friends," by Gary Shteyngart. (Penguin Random House/TNS)

While the frenzy of hot books fall has begun to subside, there are still a great many books to look forward to in November, the true start of cozy season.

Most anticipated publications this coming month include an iconic Chinese artist's political memoir; provocative thoughts on feminism from an art historian and a famous model; meditations on race from a novelist and a polarizing scholar; and a comic novelist's Chekhovian pandemic satire. Grab a mask and scarf and head to your local indie bookstore to pick up copies — one for yourself and one as a holiday gift.

Fiction

Nov. 2

'Our Country Friends'

By Gary Shteyngart

Penguin Random House: 336 pages, $28

Praised by Kirkus as "the Great American Pandemic Novel only Shteyngart could write," the accomplished satirist's new work centers on a group of friends who wait out the pandemic in an upstate New York country house. Over six months of internal exile, new romances and friendships emerge while old grudges take on dangerous new life.

Nov. 9

'The Perishing'

By Natashia Deón

Counterpoint: 320 pages, $26

In 1930s Los Angeles, amid Prohibition and the construction of Route 66, a young Black woman wakes up in an alley with no recollection of her former life. While recovering the memory of her past, she becomes the L.A. Times' first Black reporter and discovers she may be immortal.

Nov. 30

'Pilot Impostor'

By James Hannaham

Soft Skull: 208 pages, $28

Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and the history of air disasters make up the raw material for this unclassifiable construction of prose, verse and photo collages — semi-fictional meditations on identity, slavery, consciousness and the horrors of flying from the acclaimed author of "Delicious Foods."

'White on White'

By Aysegül Savas

Riverhead Books: 192 pages, $26

The Istanbul-born author explores the thin line between chaos and contentment, creativity and madness through Agnes, a painter who rents her apartment to a student researching Gothic nudes. Savas' chilling novel has been praised by both Lauren Groff and performance artist Marina Abramovic.

Nonfiction

Nov. 2

'1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows'

By Ai Weiwei, translated by Allan H. Barr

Crown: 400 pages, $32

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in internal exile, his difficult decision to leave his family for America to study art, and the persecution of both his father, a leading poet, and himself — detained for months as a dissident — by the Chinese state.

'The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth'

By Sam Quinones

Bloomsbury: 432 pages, $28

Quinones, a former Times reporter, continues the story he began in 2015's "Dreamland," which exposed the opioid epidemic and its enablers and won a National Book Critics Circle prize. Here, he chronicles how meth-ravaged communities have broken the cycle of drug abuse, violence and despair.

'A Salad Only the Devil Would Eat: The Joys of Ugly Nature'

By Charles Hood

Heyday Books: 224 pages, $16

You might remember Hood from his book "Wild LA," a collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Here, the poet, photographer and wildlife guide finds wonder in the undervalued and often-ignored parts of nature — from Hollywood's palm trees to Palmdale's parking lots.

Nov. 9

'My Body'

By Emily Ratajkowski

Metropolitan Books: 256 pages, $26

A debut essay collection by the model and actress offers an honest perspective on feminism, sexuality and internalized misogyny that is elevated by her own industry experience. Publisher s Weekly called it "an astute and rewarding mix of the personal and the political."

Nov. 16

'The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story'

Edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times Magazine

One World: 624 pages, $38

The ambitious project that got Americans rethinking our racial history — and sparked inevitable backlash — even before the reckoning that followed George Floyd's murder, is expanded into a book incorporating essays from pretty much everyone you want to hear from about the country's great topic and great shame.

'Women in the Picture: What Culture Does with Female Bodies'

By Catherine McCormack

W. W. Norton & Co.: 240 pages, $23

Ranging through Western art and images in advertising, social media and fashion photography, the British art historian challenges the idea of women as "mothers, monsters and maidens" and introduces the work of women artists countering those depictions.

Nov. 23

'These Precious Days'

By Ann Patchett

Harper: 336 pages, $27

The acclaimed novelist meditates on "what I needed, whom I loved, what I could let go," in essays on shedding lifelong possessions, nursing a friend with cancer and the wisdom of Snoopy. Patchett has a gift for grasping what really matters.

Mary Ann Gwinn contributed to this report.

0 Comments

Stay up-to-date on what's happening

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

“Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker" by Maggy Krell; NYU Press (192 pages, $22.95) ——— It’s the best justice system money can buy. As a prosecutor in California, Maggy Krell saw that unfairness daily, particularly when cops would do sweeps of streetwalkers. Pimps and johns who exploited prostitutes went free. The women went to jail. Krell’s book, “Taking Down ...

A heartfelt tale about a mother and daughter separated in parallel universes brought about by the power of language. "Present Tense Machine" by Gunnhild Øyehaug, translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson; Farrar, Straus & Giroux (176 pages, $25) ——— On May 30, 2020, German pianist Igor Levit sat down in an empty studio to play Erik Satie's "Vexations," a marathon work comprising 840 ...

In 1973, a Korean War veteran with a Ph.D. in English from Boston University published his first novel, a detective tale called "The Godwulf Manuscript." Its hero was a private detective named Spenser (no first name). Robert B. Parker’s books about him became a phenomenon — Parker wrote 40 bestselling novels about Spenser (as well as numerous books in three other series) before he died at his ...

I’ve been reading about working from home. Because I’ve been working from home. I’m writing this from home. Not coincidentally, I’m also reading about that thing none of us were supposed to feel once we embraced working from home. I’m reading about burnout, its history, its costs. To be specific, I’ve been reading books about working from home and burnout early in the morning, before dawn, ...

The Bucci sisters were 4 and 6 when they were sent to Auschwitz. "Always Remember Your Name" by Andra and Tatiana Bucci, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein; Astra House (171 pages, $25) ——— The first book I reviewed for the Star Tribune documented the life of Mildred Harnack, the only American to lead a Nazi-resistance group in Germany during World War II. Tragically, she was ...

Ulrich Boschwitz wrote his novel about a German Jew on the run in the days after Kristallnacht. One day last March, former U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz opened his Wall Street Journal to find a review of a book that had been written by his cousin Ulrich. His cousin, who he hadn't known was a writer. His cousin, who had died in 1942. "I was startled when it appeared," Rudy said. "I had never heard ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert