November New Releases: What's Everyone Reading This Month?


Retreating into your cave for the winter? Don’t forget a big stack of books! What have you preordered? Anything in particular got you counting down the days? In the meantime, here are a few new November titles teetering at the top of my TBR pile.

Texts from Jane Eyre, Mallory Ortberg

Just in time to complete your Christmas shopping (with apologies to my younger sister for spoiling the surprise). Born as a very funny series at The Hairpin (sample: “JANE I BOUGHT YOU A DRESS MADE OF TEN THOUSAND PEARLS AS A BRIDAL PRESENT where on earth would I wear that“), Texts from Jane Eyre has been expanded to included conversations from such classics as Moby Dick. Read it and send your AP English teacher a thank-you note.

Science…For Her!, Megan Amram

Are you keen to delve into the mysteries of science, but wish they could be delivered in a format more closely resembling an early 2000s-era ladymag? Parks and Rec writer Megan Amram has got your back. Topics tackled include “Kale!!!!” The Washington Post offers a peek:

We’re told the narrator works for NASA in some capacity, and she manages to factor her ex-boyfriend “Xander” into almost every chapter. During a section on global warming, she writes: “It’s so hot in LA right now that my ex-boyfriend’s house that I set on fire is on fire!” and then offers tips on what to wear as the earth gets hotter, down to increments of Fahrenheit.

Service journalism at its finest.

Mermaids in Paradise, Lydia Millet

This seems to be the big fiction release of the month. Follows a couple on their Caribbean honeymoon when mer-people are discovered nearby, which seems pretty fucking inconvenient if you ask me. Here’s a review from Publisher’s Weekly.

Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight Against Filth, Lee Jackson

What, you don’t find giant piles of trash and human shit interesting? Seriously, though—Victorian London was fucking filthy in all kinds of fascinating ways, as this review from the Independent explains, and it took decades to fix all the various orifices from whence shit oozed. Fair warning, though: You’ll never be able to read another Victorian romance novel without imagining the lingering odor of poo.

Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation, Laura Kipnis

A collection of essays on Dudes: What Is Their Deal? (Damned if I can make hells or tails of ’em.) From the author of How to Become a Scandal and The Female Thing: Dirt, Envy, Sex, Vulnerability. Rebecca Solnit, patron saint of women who just had to sit through another goddamn mansplanation, also has a new collection of essays: Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.

Ugly Girls, Lindsay Hunter

This novel, which follows friends Perry and Baby Girl, sounds powerful but grueling:

Their friendship is woven from the threads of never-ending dares and power struggles, their loyalty fierce but incredibly fraught. They spend their nights sneaking out of their trailers, stealing cars for joyrides, and doing all they can to appear hard to the outside world.With all their energy focused on deceiving themselves and the people around them, they don’t know that real danger lurks: Jamey, an alleged high school student from a nearby town, has been pining after Perry from behind the computer screen in his mother’s trailer for some time now, following Perry and Baby Girl’s every move—on Facebook, via instant messaging and text,and, unbeknownst to the girls, in person.

American Titan: Searching for John Wayne, Marc Eliot

Speaking of masculinity, this month also brings a biography of the myth that was John Wayne, All-American Hero. It’s already yielded an amazing Daily Mail article suggesting that Wayne dodged the draft so he could canoodle with Marlene Dietrich. Didn’t see that one coming.

Watch Me, Anjelica Huston

I could write a blurb about this memoir, or I could simply say: Ever After. And if celeb memoirs are your thing, Brooke Shields wrote a book about her relationship with her mother. And hey, Sophia Loren has an autobiography out, too! Big month for Hollywood.

Lives in Ruins: Archeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble, Marilyn Johnson

Johnson bounced around a bunch of digs, talking to archeologists about what inspires a person to sift through dust and broken pottery for an often meager living. Passion and dedication, that’s what. (I’ll spare you my warbling of the Indiana Jones theme song.)

What else is everybody reading?

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