Sarah's 10 Most Anticipated November Releases

Sarah's 10 Most Anticipated November Releases

I feel like October has really flown by, and given that the Salt Lake Valley got a bunch of snow last night, it feels like fall is officially over (sad!) and winter has officially begun. With November approaching soon, here are 10 new releases that I'm looking forward to this month!

1. The Cloisters - Katy Hays (Nov. 1)

Synopsis: When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

Why I'm Excited: Gothic mystery? Yes please. Seems like great fall-winter vibes, and as someone who just started learning how to read tarot cards, I'm intrigued to see what role they play in the story.

2. The Luminaries Susan Dennard (Nov. 1)

Synopsis: Hemlock Falls isn't like other towns. You won't find it on a map, your phone won't work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you. Only the Luminaries, a society of ancient guardians, stand between humanity and the nightmares of the forest that rise each night.

Winnie Wednesday, an exile from the Luminaries, is determined to restore her family's good name by taking the deadly hunter trials on her sixteenth birthday. But when she turns to her ex best friend Jay Friday for help, they discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Why I'm Excited: I've been pulling away from YA more and more recently, but every now and then a title comes along that I don't want to pass up. And a society of ancient guardians who protect against nightmare creatures is one of them.

3. Gilded Mountain Kate Manning (Nov. 1)

Synopsis: In a voice spiked with sly humor, Sylvie Pelletier recounts leaving her family’s snowbound mountain cabin to work in a manor house for the Padgetts, owners of the marble-mining company that employs her father and dominates the town. Sharp-eyed Sylvie is awed by the luxury around her; fascinated by her employer, the charming “Countess” Inge, and confused by the erratic affections of Jasper, the bookish heir to the family fortune. Her fairy-tale ideas of romance take a dark turn when she realizes the Padgetts’ lofty philosophical talk is at odds with the unfair labor practices that have enriched them. Their servants, the Gradys, formerly enslaved people, have long known this to be true and are making plans to form a utopian community on the Colorado prairie.

Outside the manor walls, the town of Moonstone is roiling with discontent. A handsome union organizer, along with labor leader Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, is stirring up the quarry workers. The editor of the local newspaper—a bold woman who takes Sylvie on as an apprentice—is publishing unflattering accounts of the Padgett Company. Sylvie navigates vastly different worlds and struggles to find her way amid conflicting loyalties. When the harsh winter brings tragedy, Sylvie must choose between silence and revenge.

Why I'm Excited: First of all, I'm totally judging a book by its cover because this one is stunning. Apart from that, I'm really interested in the couple of westerns this month that seem to be showing a world that's more unique than the stereotypical gun-wielding cowboy plot with uncomfortable undertones about indigenous people.

4. Desert Creatures - Kay Chronister (Nov. 8)

Synopsis: In a world that has become treacherous and desiccated, Magdala has always had to fight to survive. At nine years old, she and her father, Xavier, are exiled from their home, fleeing through the Sonoran Desert, searching for refuge.

As violence pursues them, they join a handful of survivors on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Las Vegas, where it is said the vigilante saints reside, bright with neon power. Magdala, born with a clubfoot, is going to be healed. But when faced with the strange horrors of the desert, one by one the pilgrims fall victim to a hideous sickness—leaving Magdala to fend for herself.

After surviving for seven years on her own, Magdala is sick of waiting for her miracle. Recruiting an exiled Vegas priest named Elam at gunpoint to serve as her guide, Magdala turns her gaze to Vegas once more, and this time, nothing will stop her. The pair form a fragile alliance as they navigate the darkest and strangest reaches of the desert on a trip that takes her further from salvation even as she nears the holy city.

Why I'm Excited: I used to be big into dystopias when I was a teenager and YA dystopian was all the rage, but I haven't read a lot of them since then. And a post-apocalyptic horror seems like a great way to return to the genre. Also, magic? How cool!

5. Trespasses - Louise Kennedy (Nov. 8)

Synopsis: Amid daily reports of violence, Cushla lives a quiet life with her mother in a small town near Belfast. By day she teaches at a parochial school; at night she fills in at her family's pub. There she meets Michael Agnew, a barrister who's made a name for himself defending IRA members. Against her better judgment - Michael is not only Protestant but older, and married - Cushla lets herself get drawn in by him and his sophisticated world, and an affair ignites. Then the father of a student is savagely beaten, setting in motion a chain reaction that will threaten everything, and everyone, Cushla most wants to protect.

As tender as it is unflinching, Trespasses is a heart-pounding, heart-rending drama of thwarted love and irreconcilable loyalties, in a place what you come from seems to count more than what you do, or whom you cherish.

Why I'm Excited: I've been on a big historical fiction kick this year and this one just sounds really interesting. Plus, as someone with a pretty drama-free life, the thought about reading about a woman's affair with a married man is pretty juicy and a far cry from what I've going going on in my real life. I also don't know much at all about The Troubles in Northern Ireland, so this seems like an interesting way to learn more about it.

6. Now is Not the Time to Panic - Kevin Wilson (Nov. 15)

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Frankie Budge—aspiring writer, indifferent student, offbeat loner—is determined to make it through yet another sad summer in Coalfield, Tennessee, when she meets Zeke, a talented artist who has just moved into his grandmother’s unhappy house and who is as lonely and awkward as Frankie is. Romantic and creative sparks begin to fly, and when the two jointly make an unsigned poster, shot through with an enigmatic phrase, it becomes unforgettable to anyone who sees it. The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.

The posters begin appearing everywhere, and people wonder who is behind them. Satanists, kidnappers—the rumors won’t stop, and soon the mystery has dangerous repercussions that spread far beyond the town. The art that brought Frankie and Zeke together now threatens to tear them apart.

Twenty years later, Frances Eleanor Budge—famous author, mom to a wonderful daughter, wife to a loving husband—gets a call that threatens to upend everything: a journalist named Mazzy Brower is writing a story about the Coalfield Panic of 1996. Might Frances know something about that? And will what she knows destroy the life she’s so carefully built?

Why I'm Excited: The synopsis makes this one sound like a character driven novel that spans decades, and I'm eating up that plot structure and framing right now. This plot sounds pretty different from what I've been reading recently, and the reviews are praising the writing, so I'm excited to see what's in store.

7. All the Blood We Share - Camilla Bruce (Nov. 22)

Synopsis: A sinister novel based on the real Bloody Benders, a family of serial killers in the old West bound by butchery and obscured by the shadows of American history.

The winds shift nervously on the Kansas plain whispering of travelers lost and buried, whispering of witches. Something dark and twisted has taken root at the Bender Inn.

At first the townspeople of Cherryvale welcome the rising medium Kate Bender and her family. Kate's messages from the Beyond give their tedious dreams hope and her mother's potions cure their little ills—for a price. No one knows about their other business, the shortcut to a better life. And why shouldn’t their family prosper? They’re careful. It’s only from those who are marked, those who travel alone and can easily disappear, that the Benders demand their pound of flesh.

But even a gifted seer like Kate can make a misstep. Now as the secrets festering beneath the soil of the family orchard threaten to bring them all to ruin, the Benders must sharpen their craft—or vanish themselves.

Why I'm Excited: Horror in the American West is a genre combination that I didn't know I needed until now. The fact that it's based on a read family is even more interesting. This one doesn't have a lot of hype surrounding it, but I do have another book by the author (In the Garden of Spite), so I'm optimistic!

8. Aesthetica - Allie Rowbottom (Nov. 22)

Synopsis: At 19, she was an Instagram celebrity. Now, at 35, she works behind the cosmetic counter at the “black and white store,” peddling anti-aging products to women seeking physical and spiritual transformation. She too is seeking rebirth. She’s about to undergo the high-risk, elective surgery Aesthetica™, a procedure will reverse all her past plastic surgery procedures, returning her, she hopes, to a truer self. Provided she survives the knife.

But on the eve of the surgery, her traumatic past resurfaces when she is asked to participate in the public takedown of her former manager/boyfriend, who has rebranded himself as a paragon of “woke” masculinity in the post-#MeToo world. With the hours ticking down to her life-threatening surgery, she must confront the ugly truth about her experiences on and off the Instagram grid.

Why I'm Excited: This seems an interesting and timely novel in today's world. I don't think we see a whole lot of real people's lives of post-social media fame because there hasn't been enough time for that to be commonplace yet. I'm expecting this to be a dramatized version of the perils of social media and I'm looking forward to seeing the take.

 9. Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World's Greatest Art Forger - Tony Tetro (Nov. 22)

Synopsis: The art world is a much dirtier, nastier business than you might expect. Tony Tetro, one of the most renowned art forgers in history, will make you question every masterpiece you’ve ever seen in a museum, gallery, or private collection. Tetro’s “Rembrandts,” “Caravaggios,” “Miros,” and hundreds of other works now hang on walls around the globe. In 2019, it was revealed that Prince Charles received into his collection a Picasso, Dali, Monet, and Chagall, insuring them for over 200 million pounds, only to later discover that they’re actually “Tetros.” And the kicker? In Tony’s words: “Even if some tycoon finds out his Rembrandt is a fake, what’s he going to do, turn it in? Now his Rembrandt just became motel art. Better to keep quiet and pass it on to the next guy. It’s the way things work for guys like me.” The Prince Charles scandal is the subject of a forthcoming feature documentary with Academy Award nominee Kief Davidson and coauthor Giampiero Ambrosi, in cooperation with Tetro.

Throughout Tetro’s career, his inimitable talent has been coupled with a reckless penchant for drugs, fast cars, and sleeping with other con artists. He was busted in 1989 and spent four years in court and one in prison. His voice—rough, wry, deeply authentic—is nothing like the high society he swanned around in, driving his Lamborghini or Ferrari, hobnobbing with aristocrats by day, and diving into debauchery when the lights went out. He’s a former furniture store clerk who can walk around in Caravaggio’s shoes, become Picasso or Monet, with an encyclopedic understanding of their paint, their canvases, their vision. For years, he hid it all in an unassuming California townhouse with a secret art room behind a full-length mirror. (Press #* on his phone and the mirror pops open.) Pairing up with coauthor Ambrosi, one of the investigative journalists who uncovered the 2019 scandal, Tetro unveils the art world in an epic, alluring, at times unbelievable, but all-true narrative.

Why I'm Excited: I'm always here for a good nonfiction swindle story (I just finished Bad Blood and it's probably my favorite nonfiction read of the year). Pair an interesting topic with the fact that the forger is also the author? Oh yes.

10. Winterland - Rae Meadows (Nov. 29)

Synopsis: Reminiscent of Maggie Shipstead’s Astonish Me and Julia Phillips’s Disappearing EarthWinterland tells the story of a previous era, shockingly pertinent today, shaped by glory and loss and finding light where none exists.

In the Soviet Union in 1973, there is perhaps no greater honor for a young girl than to be chosen to be part of the famed USSR gymnastics program. So when eight-year-old Anya is tapped, her family is thrilled. What is left of her family, that is. Years ago her mother disappeared. Anya’s only confidant is her neighbor, an older woman who survived unspeakable horrors during her ten years in a Gulag camp—and who, unbeknownst to Anya, was also her mother’s confidant and might hold the key to her disappearance. As Anya moves up the ranks of competitive gymnastics, and as other girls move down, Anya soon comes to realize that there is very little margin of error for anyone.

Why I'm Excited: This book seems both timely and fascinating all on its own. It's a topic I don't know much about with a history that I think I need to learn more of. This whole book just sounds right up my alley. 

There ended up being more books on this list than I anticipated! Are there any new releases you're looking forward to in November, or any books you plan on reading in general? Let me know!

 

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