We don’t know about you, but we have big plans this month. We’re going to watch a ton of November Netflix arrivals, host the perfect Thanksgiving brunch (yes, brunch), and sip every drink on the Starbucks holiday menu. (We see you, Peppermint Mocha, snug in your cute holiday cup.)
Of course, there’s another big item on our ongoing to-do list: read. We want to read all of the books. Because there’s nothing better than curling up next to a crackling fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and a brand new book. And November’s releases are seriously good.
The books we’re excited about this month span every genre and every age range. Fiction lovers will enjoy novels about dystopian societies, magical realism, and families across the globe, from Los Angeles to contemporary Jordan. Nonfiction readers will devour moving memoirs that tackle important topics like femininity, racism, and sexual assault.
There are art books, coffee table books, and a highly anticipated book of poetry from one of our favorite Instagrammers. Plus, there are even books by and about two of our favorite people in the entire world: Barack Obama and Joe Biden. November is not messing around.
Ready to dig in? Here are 25 new books out in November that you won’t want to miss!
1. Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner, out November 7th
Hmm, Matthew Weiner — sound familiar? He created a little TV show called Mad Men. Now, he’s back with his debut novel about Heather, the glowing daughter of the Breakstone family. Her whole life, Heather has radiated beauty and compassion. But as she gets older, she begins to attract darker forces. Remember, this is the man who created Don Draper (and Dick Whitman). His depictions of humanity and society seriously go there.
2. Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben, out November 7th
This is more than a book. It’s the start of a movement. Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance tells the story of Vern, a 72-year-old man in Vermont who entertains the idea of seceding from the U.S. Vern’s ideas and advocacy all unfold across the airwaves — in private, of course, because he’s also a fugitive. Oh, and it’s definitely not lost on us that “Vern” rhymes with “Bern(ie Sanders).”
3. Brolliology by Marion Rankine, out November 7th
Everyone owns an umbrella. But do you know how this seemingly ordinary object relates to class, gender, selfhood, and society? Probably not. With its fun facts and detailed illustrations, we predict that Brolliology: A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature will make a “brolly” enthusiast out of you yet.
4. Mean by Myriam Gurba, out November 7th
What makes people act mean? Is it for self-defense, to feel powerful, or to be funny? In Mean, Myriam Gurba tells her coming-of-age tale as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Though it’ll definitely make you laugh out loud, Gurba is dead serious about important topics like racism, misogyny, homophobia, and sexual assault. If you like memoirs (hell, even if you don’t), this one will knock your socks off.
5. Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza, out November 7th
Pete Souza started photographing Barack Obama on his first day as a U.S. senator in January of 2005. Since then, you’ve surely seen some of his most memorable snaps: Obama holding a boy dressed in an elephant costume, Obama kissing Michelle under the mistletoe, Obama mugging his best “unimpressed” face with Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. Now, you can have all the highlights plus the stories behind the pics in Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Photographs.
6. Girl Logic by Iliza Shlesinger, out November 7th
You know that thing where women obsess over every little detail of something? And fall down the rabbit hole of endless possibilities and outcomes for every situation? Comedian Iliza Shlesinger calls that “girl logic.” And in her book of the same name, Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity, she explains why even though it might SEEM great, it’s actually a smart way to approach life, dating, sex, and work. (That’s a relief.)
7. The Introvert Activity Book by Maureen Marzi Wilson, out November 7th
Calling all introverts! We know that just because you’re quiet, it doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to say. Discover your voice and the best way to express yourself with this fun book filled with writing prompts, doodle ideas, paper-craft projects, and more. There’s even a maze in which you must navigate your way back home from a party whose guests include a hugger, a lovey-dovey couple, and your ex (read: an introvert’s nightmare). We’re calling it: The Introvert Activity Book: Draw It, Make It, Write It (Because You’d Never Say It Out Loud) is the go-to Christmas gift for the introverts in your life.
8. Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda, out November 7th
Six people. One city. Endless unlikely connections. Wonder Valley follows six characters in Los Angeles filled with anger, heartache, and desperation. As you dig into their stories, their lives come crashing together in ways you couldn’t even imagine.
9. Secrets for the Mad by Dodie Clark, out November 7th
We’re big fans of Dodie Clark. Now, the British YouTuber, singer, and songwriter can add one more title to her name: published author. In Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions, and Life Lessons, Clark shares personal stories, song lyrics, and photos. She isn’t afraid to “go there” with important topics like bullying, depression, coming out as bisexual, and physical and emotional abuse. With such raw emotional realness, it’s hard to believe she’s just 22 years old.
10. The Revolution of Marina M. by Janet Fitch, out November 7th
If you’re a historical fiction fan, this story set during the Russian Revolution is for you. The Revolution of Marina M. tells the story of Marina, a young woman desperate to leave her privileged life behind. As her country changes, she marches for workers’ rights, falls in love with a poet, and betrays her upbringing — and experiences betrayal right back. This is Janet Fitch at her finest.
11. Wild Embers by Nikita Gill, out November 14th
You follow Nikita Gill on Instagram, right? (Hey, Shailene Woodley does.) The fiery feminist poet, whose inspiring words have been shared by everyone from Khloé Kardashian to LeAnn Rimes, is back with another moving collection. Wild Embers: Poems of Rebellion, Fire, and Beauty will evoke love, loss, doubt, sorrow, and, ultimately, make you question the meaning of life. Which poem will you ‘gram first?
12. Mother of All Pigs by Malu Halasa, out November 14th
Malu Halasa has been writing about the Middle East for years. Mother of All Pigs, a feminist response to how the Syrian Crisis is being represented, is her debut novel. And what a debut it is. Set in contemporary Jordan, Mother of All Pigs tells the story of several generations of women in the Sabas family. Though fictional, it paints a very real and complex picture of life, gender, ethnicity, religion, and politics in the Middle East today. Read up.
13. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich, out November 14th
Imagine a world where evolution reverses itself. One where women give birth to babies of a primitive species of humans. Now, imagine that you’re pregnant and facing the same fate. What do you do? If you enjoy diving into rich, complex, and deeply detailed new worlds, add the chilling dystopian novel Future Home of the Living God to your TBR list.
14. Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden, out November 14th
An Obama book AND a Biden book in the same month? Lucky us. Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose is our forever VP’s moving memoir about his son Beau’s battle with a brain tumor. It chronicles his extremely challenging year of personal and professional triumphs and struggles. Though written by a vice president, this memoir shows Biden as a father, husband, grandfather, and friend. You’ll need lots of tissues on hand for this one.
15. Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi, out November 14th
Meet Laylee Layla Fenjoon, your new favorite strong female character. Laylee is struggling with the loss of her mother, and the lonelier she gets, the more her hands (and hair) turn silver. But then, magical strangers appear and help her rediscover life in color. Tahereh Mafi drew heavily from her Persian background while writing, bringing the sounds, scents, and stories of her culture to mainstream literature.
16. Improvement by Joan Silber, out November 14th
We love a good butterfly effect scenario, and Improvement delivers tenfold. It tells the story of Reyna, a young single mother whose one small act of resistance in a smuggling scheme sets into motion a huge sequence of events for both loved ones and strangers alike in New York and across the country. Reyna doesn’t know how her actions affect the lives of those around her — but we, the readers, get to watch it all play out.
17. Slow Beauty by Shel Pink, out November 14th
Raise your hand if you try to practice mindfulness and prioritize self-care. Now, raise your hand if you actually do it. Don’t worry, we’re just as guilty. That’s why we’re obsessed with Slow Beauty: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish the Body and Feed the Soul. Shel Pink’s in-depth, philosophical approach to beauty will help you find the rituals and recipes that work for YOU. It’s like having your own personal beauty life coach — one whose goal is to help you find your glow.
18. The Extra Woman by Joanna Scutts, out November 14th
Attention, independent women! Yes, you — the sophisticated, confident, and happy woman who is completely fine living alone. We think you’ll love The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It. It follows the life of Hillis, a famously independent woman navigating New York in the years between suffrage and the sixties. Scutts tracks Hillis’s life through the Live-Alone movement — and more importantly, examines what happened when the movement ended.
19. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang, out November 14th
‘Tis the season for a little magical realism, don’t you think? Look no further than Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance. It follows Weylyn Grey, an orphaned boy raised by wolves who’s just realizing how different — and powerful — he actually is. The story is told from the perspective of the people (and animals) who knew him. It’s wonderful, whimsical, and so magical from cover to cover.
20. The Museum of Broken Relationships by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, out November 14th
A champagne cork. A broken Hello Kitty key. A collection of various strands of old barbed wire. The Museum of Broken Relationships: Modern Love in 203 Everyday Objects catalogs the mementos and trinkets that people can’t bear to throw away when relationships end. Because everyone has at least one. Sound familiar? The book is inspired by the real-life Museum of Broken Relationships that you can visit in Los Angeles.
21. You Don’t Own Me by Orly Lobel, out November 14th
Who owns your ideas? What are the differences between creativity and intellectual property? And Bratz dolls look pretty similar to Barbie dolls, don’t you think? Find the answers to these questions and more in You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side. This extremely well-researched book outlines every detail of the 10-year court battle between Mattel and MGA. Elle Woods would eat this story up.
22. A Beautiful Young Woman by Julian Lopez, out November 14th
A Beautiful Young Woman is a beautifully written story of the love between a mother and son in Buenos Aires, which has been taken over by Argentina’s military dictatorship. When the boy’s mother goes missing, the story jumps to the future, and he fills in the details of her activism. It’s a stunning debut about family, violence, and consequences.
23. The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown, out November 14th
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to work at Vanity Fair? Here’s your chance. Tina Brown made diligent daily diary entries during her eight years as editor-in-chief at the company, and she’s ready to spill the tea. The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 is like David Sedaris’s diaries, but with more iconic cultural moments and fewer one-liners from Amy Sedaris. We. Are. Listening.
24. You Do You by Sarah Knight, out November 21st
A few years ago, Sarah Knight changed our lives when she published The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and Get Your Sh*t Together. Now, she’s back with another No F*cks Given guide, thank goodness. You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want imparts the same no-nonsense straight talk about why it’s important to be yourself, be selfish, and stand up for yourself. We feel enlightened already.
25. Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart, out November 21st
Well, we can all collectively exhale now, because we’ve finally found the next Big Little Lies. Little Broken Things is a suspenseful story of Quinn’s suburban family whose seemingly buttoned-up life is about to unravel. Quinn’s sister Nora shows up at her door with a cowering little girl and no explanation, and it’s up to Quinn to keep her safely hidden away. Obviously, chaos ensues. Question: Is it too much to ask to have Reese, Nicole, Shailene, Laura, and Zoe star in the inevitable adaptation of this story too?