Thanks for the Memories: 26 Reads for November

‘Tis the season for giving thanks, and just look at the treasure trove of new reads to be thankful for! From twisting mysteries to profound memoirs to swoonworthy romances, our booksellers found some wonderful books to show their gratitude for this month. Share the love and pick one up for someone on your list this holiday season! (Speaking of, have you browsed through our beautiful holiday catalog yet?) We’ll have even more holiday gift ideas coming your way soon, but for now, enjoy our November picks!

Recommended by Ann

Demon Copperhead: A Novel By Barbara Kingsolver Cover ImageDemon Copperhead: A Novel

In this tour de force novel, Kingsolver recasts David Copperfield as Demon Copperhead, an orphan who must make his way through the broken foster care system, as well as the meth, oxy, and fentanyl that are destroying Appalachia. Like Dickens, Kingsolver shines a flood light on the suffering of the poor, while proving that fiction can still change who we are as a society.

Also loved by Kathy and Cheryl!

Recommended by Lindsay

The Cloisters: A Novel By Katy Hays Cover ImageThe Cloisters: A Novel

By Katy Hays

I’d like to believe that in another life, I was an art historian—in this lifetime, though, I’ve got The Cloisters, which is just as satisfying to my nerdy little heart. This stunning debut from Katy Hays follows a group of researchers at the Met who discover a mysterious centuries-old deck of tarot cards. The Cloisters is one the best page-turners I’ve read all year!

Also loved by Cheryl and Ashby!

Recommended by Sissy

We Are the Light: A Novel By Matthew Quick Cover ImageWe Are the Light: A Novel

A mass shooting leaves survivors dealing with the aftermath in different ways. Only Matthew Quick can write so tenderly about something so horrible. How does one continue living in a world so full of hate and violence? Quick’s protagonist tries to heal himself and his town, and the results are bizarre, funny (he is so very funny), and an absolute mess. It’s a good mess. Not saccharine and easy – just real.

Also loved by Cat!

Recommended by Kathy

Signal Fires: A novel By Dani Shapiro Cover ImageSignal Fires: A Novel

A gripping story about the power of guilt and family secrets. A car accident in 1985 totally alters the life of this family and reverberates for generations. What a compelling read!

Recommended by Chelsea

White Horse: A Novel By Erika T. Wurth Cover ImageWhite Horse: A Novel

Indigenous woman Kari James loves heavy metal, Stephen King novels, and her local bar. When her cousin unearths a bracelet that belonged to Kari’s mother, Kari is suddenly haunted by both her mother and a horrible entity. To rid herself of both spirits, Kari will have to face her past and secrets about her family. This engrossing debut blends horror and mystery with a deft hand. I look forward to what Wurth does next.

Recommended by Katie

A Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club #5) By Lyssa Kay Adams Cover ImageA Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club #5)

Lyssa Kay Adams just keeps fine tuning this delicious series. And this one might be my favorite to date. Colton is a country music singer looking for his second chance at love. Gretchen Winthrop is a woman on a mission, and that doesn’t include the handsome singer. Much to his chagrin. But all things are possible with a little Christmas cheer, and love may just be in the air after all.

Recommended by Ashby

Station Eternity (The Midsolar Murders #1) By Mur Lafferty Cover ImageStation Eternity (The Midsolar Murders #1)

A sci-fi murder mystery involving a space station and aliens? Expect the unexpected from Mallory Viridian, who attracts murders and solves them. Did I mention she is also a crime novelist? She heads for a space station imagining a peaceful existence, but aliens and humans begin to die, leaving Mallory with another whodunit. You might think this makes for a peculiar book…but I cannot wait for Mallory’s next mystery.

Recommended by Sissy

The Poison Machine (A Hunt and Hooke Novel #2) By Robert J. Lloyd Cover ImageThe Poison Machine (A Hunt and Hooke Novel #2)

This is a really fun thriller set in 17th century London and Paris. While it is a sequel, it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone. Fans of Ken Follett will love the setting and detail, and Michael Connelly readers will adore the protagonist and the swiftly moving plot.

Recommended by Hannah

A Merry Little Meet Cute: A Novel By Julie Murphy, Sierra Simone Cover ImageA Merry Little Meet Cute: A Novel

When plus-size adult film star Bee Hobbes and former bad-boy pop star Nolan Shaw are cast as the unlikely leads in a family-friendly Christmas movie, they’re each instructed to keep it PG both on camera and off. Only problem? They’ve got immense chemistry that’s harder to resist by the day. The perfect mix of sugar-sweet and sexy-spice, this holiday rom-com is not one to miss. I devoured it in a single day.

Also loved by Ashby and Katie!

Recommended by Rachel

Red, White & Royal Blue: Collector's Edition: A Novel By Casey McQuiston Cover ImageRed, White & Royal Blue: Collector’s Edition: A Novel

Whether you have read this one yet or not, this Collector’s Edition mustn’t be missed. Alex, the First Son, and Prince Henry get framed as political rivals in the tabloids. In order to stave off scandal, the two must pretend to be best friends, but they become much more than friends. Take a look inside at the beautiful character art, and prepare yourself for the upcoming movie!

Also loved by Hannah and Sarah!

Recommended by Chelsea

Trespasses: A Novel By Louise Kennedy Cover ImageTrespasses: A Novel

I am in awe of everything about this incredible debut. Set in Belfast during the 70s, Trespasses explores the roles of violence and chance through the life of Cushla, a Catholic woman in her 20s who finds herself swept up in a love affair with an older, married Protestant lawyer. The narrative grows with a quiet sense of discomfort until it rushes to a startling conclusion that left me breathless.

Recommended by Patsy

Foster By Claire Keegan Cover ImageFoster

To forego having one more mouth to feed while his wife is expecting, Dan leaves his daughter with the childless Kinsellas in the Irish countryside. Not sure if or when her father will return, she finds comfort in John and Edna’s care, where she thrives in farm life. The revelation of a painful secret makes her aware of the fragile nature of her new life and the realization that sometimes, saying nothing is the best solution.

Recommended by Rachel

The Atlas Paradox (Atlas Series #2) By Olivie Blake Cover ImageThe Atlas Paradox (Atlas Series #2)

I have been waiting for this sequel for SO long. The Atlas Six grabbed me from the first page and kept me in its magical world with its morally grey characters until the very end. The Atlas Paradox has done the very same. I loved the messy and complicated character relationships as well as the scientific exploration of magic! Every page holds beautiful lines and heartbreaking backstories.

Recommended by Katie

Mistakes Were Made: A Novel By Meryl Wilsner Cover ImageMistakes Were Made: A Novel

Mistakes Were Made is a steamy sapphic rom-com in which our heroine somehow manages to accidently hook up with her college roommate’s mom. Typically age-gap romances aren’t my thing, but Wilsner turns this trope on its head and it REALLY works. As someone who is constantly on the hunt for a good queer romance, Mistakes Were Made was my absolute favorite of the year.

Also loved by Chelsea and Hannah! Plus, Meryl will be in conversation with Ashley Herring Blake at Parnassus on Tuesday Nov. 22. Be sure to save your seat!

Recommended by Patsy 

Marigold and Rose: A Fiction By Louise Glück Cover ImageMarigold and Rose: A Fiction

Glück explores the inner life of the infants Marigold and Rose during their first year in this fable-like tale. This shiny little work of prose is full of both the dichotomies and the enchantment of the world of “aging human babies.”

Recommended by Marcia

It Starts with Us: A Novel (It Ends with Us #2) By Colleen Hoover Cover ImageIt Starts with Us: A Novel (It Ends with Us #2)

Oh, my! I held my breath for this one and was finally able to exhale! In this follow up by one of today’s phenom authors, we really get to know Atlas and find out what happens between him and Lily. If you’ve read ANY of Colleen’s books, you’re going to want to pick this one up and put it at the top of your TBR stack! If you haven’t read It Ends With Us, pick that one up too. You’ll want to read it first!

Recommended by Katie

Maybe We'll Make It: A Memoir (American Music Series) By Margo Price Cover ImageMaybe We’ll Make It: A Memoir

When someone shares with us the inner workings of their broken heart I can’t help but feel like I’ve given such a precious gift. Maybe We’ll Make It is just that gift. Margo Price is a truly magnificent songwriter and performer and an immense talent as a writer.

Get your tickets for our in-store event with Margo Price in conversation with Ann Powers on Wednesday Nov. 16!

Recommended by Andy

And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle By Jon Meacham Cover ImageAnd There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle

Many books have been written about Abraham Lincoln. Meacham’s latest will stand with the very best of them. It examines the moral question of slavery and Lincoln’s evolution on the subject from rural Kentucky to the White House.

Recommended by Patsy

Inciting Joy: Essays By Ross Gay Cover ImageInciting Joy: Essays

By Ross Gay

In his second collection of lyrical essays, Gay hones his awareness of the great pleasure of helping another through something difficult, with the realization that we too will inevitably face hardships. Gay demonstrates over and again with examples from late-stage capitalism to sports to current events the joy that comes from sharing burdens and moments of laughter. This is a perfect collection for sharing.

Register for our event with Ross Gay in conversation with Adam Ross on Tuesday Nov. 8!

Recommended by Sissy

The United States of Cryptids: A Tour of American Myths and Monsters By J. W. Ocker Cover ImageThe United States of Cryptids: A Tour of American Myths and Monsters

Ocker is one of my favorite horror writers, and this beautiful volume is HILARIOUS. The perfect gift for a literary nerd who has read everything out there. It’s patriotic, too.

Recommended by Jake

The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson By Jeff Pearlman Cover ImageThe Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson

A two-for-one sports biography, this book lends equal attention to Bo’s status as a once in a generation athlete as well as to his impact on pop culture at large. Meticulously researched and compulsively readable, Pearlman definitively cements his place among the best sports biographers today and Bo’s place in the pantheon of all-time great athletes.

Recommended by Sissy

Toil and Trouble: A Women's History of the Occult By Lisa Kröger, Melanie R. Anderson Cover ImageToil and Trouble: A Women’s History of the Occult

Historically women have had less agency than men, and this book examines how women worked in hidden ways to establish more control over their lives. An entertaining and fascinating look at women rejecting patriarchy to make their own way.

Recommended by Ashby

Go-To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook By Ina Garten Cover ImageGo-To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

I am an Inafan. Is that a real word? After the pandemic, Ina offers up recipes that are easy to put together so you can say, “Come on over. Just bring yourself.” From meals to how to get two meals from one and even boards that require no cooking at all, this book reminded me of what she shows in every episode and cookbook: food brings people together…creating community.

Recommended by Lindsay

The Price of Salt, or Carol By Patricia Highsmith Cover ImageThe Price of Salt, or Carol

With winter on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to pick up Patricia Highsmith’s iconic novel of midcentury queer life. The Price of Salt opens with a chance encounter between two women in a department store during the holidays — what unfolds is a love story equal parts tumultuous and moving.

Recommended by Hannah

In a Holidaze By Christina Lauren Cover ImageIn a Holidaze

‘Tis the season for cozy romcoms! This charming book is like if Groundhog Day was set over the Christmas holiday and followed a 26 year old woman instead of Bill Murray. It checks all the boxes: swoony love interest, fantastic side characters, immense personal growth, and all the warm yet wintery vibes you could want in a holiday romcom. Easily one of my holiday staples!

Recommended by Maddie

Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation By Kyo Maclear Cover ImageBirds Art Life: A Year of Observation

Reading this book feels like taking a deep breath — grounding and meditative. Maclear’s reflections in the year when her dad’s health begins to fail are humble, honest, and somehow still gently encouraging in a way that keeps me returning to them again and again.

First Editions Club: November Selection

Demon Copperhead: A Novel By Barbara Kingsolver Cover ImageDemon Copperhead: A Novel

By Barbara Kingsolver

Dear friends,

This is the one.

It’s hard to imagine there will be another book this year that will be more important, more discussed, and more widely read than Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead. To say that it is riveting doesn’t begin to cover it. The idea first came to Kingsolver when she was spending the night in Charles Dicken’s house in London (who knew you could do that?). Sitting at his desk, she decided to retell the story of David Copperfield and set it in modern day Appalachia. She started writing that night. After all, the hardship and degradation of poverty are still the same, as is the longing for love and protection. A broken foster care system replaces a broken orphanage, a meth lab in the back of a gas station replaces the work house, beloved characters in new and surprising forms abound. Kingsolver follows the map that Dickens laid out, and at the same time subverts it. But one thing is undeniably true: like Dickens, Kingsolver means to shine a flood light on the suffering of the poor, the exploited, and the neglected, especially the children.

This is the first time we’re sending out a First Editions Club pick that isn’t signed. Due to a serious hand condition, Kingsolver can’t sign books anymore. I would say that what matters is that she wrote the books, not that she signed it. What matters is that you read it and encourage other people to read it. This book proves that fiction can still change who we are as a society. It is a stunning achievement.


Ann Patchett

More about our First Editions Club: Every member receives a first edition of the selected book of the month, signed by the author. Books are carefully chosen by our staff of readers, and our picks have gone on to earn major recognition including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Plus, there’s no membership fee or premium charge for these books. Build a treasured library of signed first editions and always have something great to read! Makes a FABULOUS gift, too.