Ah, November. Time to snuggle up, cozy in, and read. And this November, there’s an avalanche of awesome new books. From YA to literary fiction, memoir to nonfiction, here are some of the most exciting new releases in November 2016. Get ready and get set to place your holds, place your pre-orders, and add these books to your TBR.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – November 1, 2016 (YA)
This novel, the second by Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything), was a the finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The novel immerses us in one very intense day in the life of Natasha, who is about to be deported to Jamaica with her family, and Daniel, the token good boy always following the rules. But on one fateful day, Natasha meets Daniel, and it’s instalust (excuse me, instalove). Both teens (the two equally fascinating narrators) fall madly in love in the Big Epic Way you see in so many contemporary romances but without as much sincerity and feeling as Yoon writes.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer – November 8, 2016 (YA)
Marissa Meyer, author of the beloved YA sci-fi fairy-tale retelling Lunar Chronicles series, is back with a standalone (so she says…) epic YA reinterpretation of Alice in Wonderland from the perspective of the Queen of Hearts. Now, we’ve seen all sorts of adaptations of this beloved children’s story, from the Johnny Depp to Disney and back again, but Meyer takes the angle of the queen, Catherine, an aspiring baker torn between her secret love affair with Jest, the court jester, when she was supposed to be trying to win the heart of the King. As you can always expect from a Meyer novel, Heartless is inventive, action-packed, filled with swoon-worthy romance, and deliciously entertaining.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith – November 15, 2016 (literary fiction)
I don’t know a single reader-friend who is not extremely excited about Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, and similarly, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t already read it who did not enjoy the novel. Swing Time is about two childhood friends from London who hope to be dancers when they grow up. Their intense friendship seems to end in their twenties as they follow two different paths. However, everyone knows that friendships so deeply rooted in our past never really end… will Aimee and Tracey find their way back to each other? With Zadie Smith, you know you’ll be getting lush prose and a nuanced look at compelling themes like racism, identity, and culture.
Absolutely on Music: Conversations by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa – November 15, 2016 (nonfiction)
Haruki Murakami loves music, from naming one of his most beloved novels Norwegian Wood (recalling the hit from The Beatles) to being the former owner of a jazz club in Tokyo. In these brilliantly illuminating conversations with his friend, the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, these two creatives discuss the power of music. From pop-up orchestras to Brahms, these two insightful artists trace the way music has impacting them and society in general.
Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace – November 15, 2016 (memoir)
As one of the leading bands in the anarchist punk rock scene, the group Against Me! has been enormously influential. But what lies beneath this tale of success and breaking down barriers was the personal transformation of lead singer and founder, Tom Gabel. In 2012, Gabel came out as a transexual in the pages of Rolling Stone. Her memoir, written with Dan Ozzi, is sure to be a fascinating, intimate, and very compelling and has already been called one of Billboard’s 100 Greatest Music Books of All Time.
Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky – November 15, 2016 (nonfiction)
Bellevue Hospital on the East Side of New York City is America’s oldest hospital, having opened in 1736. I have always been fascinated with the history of medicine, so I was excited to see this new release from the Oshinsky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story. If you are interested in American history, and especially if you’re a fan of the Cinemax series, The Knick, pick up Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital. Oshinsky writes with great insight and much historical detail about how American medicine evolved alongside Bellevue.
Scythe (Arc of the Scythe) by Neal Shusterman – November 22, 2016 (YA)
Of all the books on this list, I think the one I am looking forward to the most is Scythe, the first in Neal Shusterman’s (National Book Award winner of Challenger Deep), new series. This YA novel is an interesting reinterpretation of dystopian society, one in which medicine has advanced to the stage where the only way that people die is if they are killed by scythes, a version of the grim reaper. Citra and Rowan are training to be scythes with the threat of death looming over them if they fail. Will they be allies or enemies…or something more? I can’t wait to get my hands on this gripping YA novel, perfect to devour over a Thanksgiving weekend.
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